Business & Development, Creswell

Swingin’ free and easy – Dedicated to fitness

Calloway Douglass swings across the double ring bars that are part of the new suite of playground equipment at Creslane Elementary. See the full story and more photos on the back cover. Gini Davis/The Chronicle

CRESWELL – Creslane Elementary’s commitment to fitness – and fun – was reaffirmed Monday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened for ”business” (aka, recess) $50,000 worth of new playground equipment purchased after two years of planning, saving and fundraising by the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).
”The majority of the fundraising was through the PTO-sponsored Jog-a-Thons that happen in October,” noted chair Jill Moran.
During two ceremonies held half an hour apart on Monday, Feb. 10 – the first for K-2 students, the second for grades 3-5 – Moran thanked students, teachers and staff who participated in the Jog-a-Thons by collecting pledges, running or walking; community members for their ”super-generous pledges”; and district administrators ”who worked with us to make this a reality.”
”This is happening because you all worked so hard,” she said, encouraging kids to give themselves a hand before several students from each class cut the ribbon and the ”serious” playing began.
Transformation of the playground began last August, when several pieces of old equipment that was no longer usable – for example, ”the glider no longer glided,” Moran said – were removed.
After excavation and site-prep donated by Bates Construction and Excavation, some new equipment was placed in that area.
New equipment was also placed next to existing equipment, doubling the play options.
It’s no surprise that the type of equipment selected – bright blue-and-green Playcraft structures from Wildwood Playgrounds of Portland – reflected a thoughtful, ”educated” process.
”We worked to add new pieces that broadened the type of play that was already available on the playground,” Moran said. ”For example, we added equipment that worked on balance and lateral climbing. There is a new climbing dome, traverse climbing discs, double ring bars, a net traverse, monkey bars, an arch climber wall, a vertical rock wall and a rope bridge, to name a few.”
”This has been a very exciting process, and we hope to find ways to add more equipment too,” said Principal Amy Halley, who officiated at the ribbon cutting.
She said money from CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) – a program promoting fitness and healthy food choices, in which Creslane participates – might be dedicated for that purpose.
”The whole idea is to find ways to keep kids physically active,” Halley said.
Once the new equipment was installed, Bates returned to spread new wood chips underneath, and the project was complete – save for some yet-to-be-installed benches.
”Creslane students have been patiently watching the installation the last few weeks and are eager to begin using the new equipment,” Moran said.
Other community members and businesses donated time and resources as well. Rinaldi Fabricators, for example, donated new basketball standards that replaced rusted-out ones and now sport new hoops.
Creslane’s revitalized playground stands as an interactive ”monument” to this community-wide cooperation and commitment, to be enjoyed by children for years to come.
”It’s exciting,” Moran said. ”Look at all the things we can do when we all work together.”
About the PTO
• Other PTO projects included fencing around the back and sides of the playground, new iPads, and helping upgrade safety equipment.
• PTO membership is free, open to the public and meetings are 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in the Creslane Library.
• Contact Creslane PTO at [email protected].



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