Mission...Playpark in SoWal!!

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Beachmom, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Beachmom

    Beachmom Beach Fanatic

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    Ok guys, we started this in the "What would you like to see" thread, that one big thing we really need is a place for our kids to run and play on a public playground that is actually in SoWal. I've heard lots of you are interested in making this happen, so now what?:dunno:

    Who is in on this?? Ideas on how to make it happen??? What can we learn from the Bark Park and how that came to be???
     
  2. ckhagen

    ckhagen Beach Fanatic

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    Well, I'm reading up on community fundraising for playgrounds right now to see how others have started.
     
  3. ckhagen

    ckhagen Beach Fanatic

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    This site is worth taking a look at.
    www.kaboom.org
    It's an organization partnered with Home Depot helping communities plan and built volunteer-built playspaces.
    Check out the FAQ.
     
  4. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    I'm in and about to read the info from Home Depot.
     
  5. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    :clap_1: ...watch out sowal. You are getting ready to get a new playground!!!
     
  6. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I think we need a lunch meeting.:D
     
  7. ckhagen

    ckhagen Beach Fanatic

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    Yeah that.

    Hm... ya'll need one of those little "yeah that" smilies!

    I'm up for it. We found out my grandfather died last night though, so umm... I have to drive to New Orleans tomorrow or sometime this weekend and I don't know when the funeral is yet. So... when I get back from that would be great! End of next week or beginning of the following?

    Candice
    (I should get a signature, huh?)
     
  8. Beachmom

    Beachmom Beach Fanatic

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    Very sorry about your grandfather. The end of next week would be grayt. I'll be gone until Tues. also., so after that......:clap_1:
     
  9. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    Good luck gulls! :clap_1:
     
  10. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    I found a link to the Parks and Recreation Department for Walton County.


    The Walton County Parks and Recreation Department strives to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Walton County. Citizen’s needs are met through the implementation and maintenance of health-promoting programs and activities. Broadly, the department’s programs are intended to increase physical activity in an environment that promotes integrity and strong overall character. Parks and Recreation also maintains various public facilities that are designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and provide recreational outlets for every Walton County family. A full-color directory of these recreation facilities is available to all citizens. Click here to open the guide if you have high-speed internet access. If you have a dial-up modem, click here for a faster version.

    Brad Alford
    Parks and Recreation Manager
    Phone: (850) 892-8703
    Fax: (850) 892-8719
    alfbrad@co.walton.fl.us

    Maybe this is a good place to start? :dunno: I didn't see any good playgrounds in the pdf file IMO. The only one I saw was in Defuniak Springs. I also read that some parks are maintained by the TDC.

    In my area, they just replaced one of the public park playgrounds with new equipment, and it's awesome. You see the parents interacting more with the children. I will take some pictures of it if you like. I am there frequently with my nephews even though they have a jungle gym in the yard, this park is way too much funn and they meet other kids to play with. My neighbor is in charge of our counties recreation department, so I can ask him where they got the equipment. I had never seen anything like it in any public park.

    Another idea if you get anywhere with this department is it seems quite a few Banks offer grants for the local schools, but they might offer funds for a public playground. Just an idea.

    We don't have children, but when my family comes down and or my guests/renters, it would be nice to have a park available for them.
    (and me :lol: ) and of course our SoWal children.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  11. Beachbummett

    Beachbummett SoWal Insider

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    i used to be president of our local civitan's...we used to raise money and donate it to the schools for playground eqpt. check with some of your local organizations....kiawanas, civitans, lions club...etc...
     
  12. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    When you open up the link, you see very clearly the only park in South Walton is Helen MCCall. When I called the rec dept. this morning, I asked what is being done at Helen MCCall, if they were adding equipment since it is under going renovation. They said no, it was just for ball fields. The next Parks and Rec. meeting is Feb 12th, in Defuniak at the Wee Care Park
    at 6:00 pm. This is where park issues get addressed. I also left my name to speak with Brad, who was out of the office. I think we need to have a coffee meeting first and discuss what we would like to see in the park. Maybe pictures or a fieldtrip is required. What do you think? My office mgr.
    suggested to go see the park in Destin, next to the City Hall.
     
  13. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I like coffee, talking, parks, playgrounds, field trips and happy children, so I am in!
     
  14. ckhagen

    ckhagen Beach Fanatic

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    I don't know, I just get the feeling that we're not going to get an ounce of help from the county. It sounds to me like they're less than intrested in funding a playground down here.

    I'm beginning to think that going the fundraising route (corporate and private donations) would probably go a lot faster and have a much larger, more elaborate outcome than what we could try and milk out of the county. As far as property though, we almost have to rely on the county for that. Does anyone know if there's room on the parcel that Helen McCall is on? It seems to be getting tight in there with parking and all.

    I definitely second a visit to the Morgan Sport Complex park. It is by far my favorite. Of course the Niceville park is very nice, but there are some specific safety concerns I have with it that are addressed at the Destin park. I've been to both at least a dozen times each.

    Oh, and I have a handful of catalogs from Florida equipment companies coming. Hopefully I'll have them in hand before we meet to we can take a look at them.

    I really think making this a community effort, as far as funds goes, would work out well. Not to mention the pride involved. Of course, we would need a 501c3 set up for that, but I'm looking into an option I might have for someone who already has one to sponsor it if necessary, since the set up of that would take a while.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  15. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Might also take a look to see what was done at Wee Care, and if that is what is wanted down here.

    I think the county has "extra" land at Helen McCall. It's been two years since FuzzJr played for SWLL, but I seem to remember there is ten more acres. I do know it gets sloppy when it rains. :dunno:

    Also, remember that Wee Care came about by a donation from Doodle Harris. I think his name is on a plaque up there. :eek:

    I would guess that the primary reason there isn't a public playground in South Walton is that nobody has asked for one yet. If we have a park for dogs, surely a park for little ones isn't out of the question. Donations work well too. Good luck!
     
  16. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    IMO, this could be addressed both ways with the County especially the TDC since having a nice public playground in tune with the area would assist in the the image Walton County wants to convey to visitors and to how they are providing other elements of activities via the Parks Dept to residents.
    In dealing with these agencies, a business approach could be taken with a proposal including
    1) a petition from residents and all owners (second home and investment)
    2) Exhibiting the type of park you want with a costs analysis.
    3) Including safety features of proposed equipment and location

    Then once armed with that, if local businesses are willing to contribute (and there names posted as contributors would help) and the funds are sufficient for the playground, then perhaps other locations of County owned land could also be analyzed for potential use as a Park.

    The other issue I could see being addressed would be maintenence, who would clean trash receptacles,? county, volunteer committee?

    A proposal in writing would go a long way in making a case.

    Let me know if I can be of assistance. :D
     
  17. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    Excellent ideas SN. I missed your post while I was typing my blog, but putting contributors names is definitely a strong selling point.
     
  18. ckhagen

    ckhagen Beach Fanatic

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    Oh, absolutely. All of the community funded parks that I know of have done that. Usually with plaques and recognizing smaller donations with the "buy a brick" type program.

    Someone on another forum had mentioned that they held a night where several of the local restaurants offered 15% of sales for that one night. They got the word out, had tons of people show up and managed to bring in $20,000... on a Tuesday night!

    I was reading that the insurance covering the playground would end up being the responsibility of the land owner. There is apparently some sort of rider or additional policy that can be purchased.
     
  19. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    If the county sees that there is support, particularly if there are $$$ behind it, I don't see how they could turn it down altogether. It might be deferred until it is properly budgeted for, but it might not be. You never know.

    Unfortunately, I don't think the TDC could fund it unless it was part of a beach walkover. Seriously. The restrictions on the use of bed tax money are pretty tight. :blush:

    Back to how Wee Care came to pass...perhaps there are other developers needing to make a chunk-of-change contribution to something in order to get a tax write-off? 'Tis the season...
     
  20. supermom262

    supermom262 Beach Fanatic

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    Park update:
    Cindy Meadow's Aide, Victoria said Cessna Landing on 393 is scheduled to have playground equipment as soon as a septic tank is removed.
    The County is trying to buy additional land to have a multi-use park at Helen McCall. I asked can anything be done to help this along, she said they are looking at various ways to fund this.
    She also said the County has land at the Government Education Center.
     

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