Sunday, May 18, 2008

KIM grand opening

I stopped by the grand opening. It was a great event with hundreds of people (both big and small). The girls who spearheaded the effort did a great job on the project. And it was nice to see a number of the town's elected officials (Altieri, DeCaprio, Dill, Ecke, Esty, Gaffey) attend the event, and get to chat with friends, including a Norton School classmate from Whippersnappers, another friend from J.C. Karate and one of the town's hardworking Public Works guys who actually laid the foundation for the playground. Thanks Steve!

Tim White


Anonymous said...

This was an incredible task that these people accomplished and should be applauded by eveyone in this town.
They utilized everything they could to raise both private and public funds to make this one of the largest and most beautiful playgrounds in the state.
I watched as these children first ran on to the playground and their faces lit up with excitement. Then I witnessed several handicap children with walkers and wheelchairs follow their siblings up ramps and they were finally able to play like the rest of the kids.
Wow, what a special moment.
It makes me proud to say I live in a community with people who actually care about each other.
Thank you Kids in Motion!

Anonymous said...

This is the Cheshire that I wanted to move my family to. I'm so glad that we have something good to be proud of that we can talk about in a positive light like this KIM project.

God bless all of those dedicated kind hearted people who had anything to do with this beautiful dream come to fruition without a hiccup.

Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

Anon and Mike, if you are impressed with KIM, you would have loved the experience with Playground in the Park (PIP). The children of Cheshire designed the playground, that is, the playground architects went into the schools and talked to the kids and asked them to draw pictures of what they invisioned the playground to look like. They asked for a pirate ship and a bat cave, along with many other items. And while many of the components were the same as other playgrounds, the architects customized them to make PIP a unique structure, similiar perhaps, but unlike any other they designed. Most importantly, the children felt that they had a say in the design. In addition, the playground was physically built by the residents of Cheshire--including even our incarcerated residents (under the watchful eyes of their guards, of course). Yes, the prisoners did much of the manual labor, like digging many of the holes for the poles. Many residents (my husband included) gave up a full weeks vacation (and he only gets 3 weeks per year!) to work 40+ hours on the playground. He actually was the one who nailed in the final pieces--the two bats on the batcave--and our children took great pride in telling other kids that their dad built "the batcave". Many families donated money to purchase specific pieces of the playground in honor of loved ones, and I know for me personally, it gave me great comfort to be able to go and see children playing on the equipment that I had donated--equipment that my son did not live long enough to be able to enjoy. During the construction, a day care center was set up (again all volunteer workers) at the youth center to watch the children of the men and women who were doing the construction. PIP was truly a good old fashionn community barn-raising. PIP was state of the art handicapped accessible for the time (1992) and was built with wheelchair ramps and a padded, seat-belted swing. Much of the interactive items were at wheelchair height, such as the tic-tac-toe board and the elevated sandbox. And the material used for ground cover (Fibar)was revolutionary at the time and made for wheelchair use. (Prior to that time, pea gravel or sand was used on most playgrounds.) To say, Anon, that handicapped children were "finally able to play with the rest of the kids" is not quite accurate. And, most impressive of all, PIP was paid for without using a single cent of taxpayer (state or local) money. Sadly, although PIP left money to the town for maintenance, it was not maintained and while the Town Council had no problem handing over $170,000 of taxpayer money to KIM, they apparently did not feel it was worth spending a couple of thousand a year to maintain PIP. And that, my friend, is very sad indeed. This is not meant to detract from the current playground or all the hard work that the founding members put into making this a reality, it is really a eulogy for the old playground and to let people who did not know the history of that playground to know how truly special it was. RIP PIP.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:29

I applaud the people who worked so hard on PIP.

I am disappointed with those who want to bad mouth the efforts of KIM. Changes come and I am sure in 20 years a newre and better playground will be built.

In 1992, the PIP may have been accesible to handicap children, but nowhere near as accesible as this playground is. Wooden playgrounds require a huge amount of upkeep and this was not done.

Talk with the parents who have handicap children and see if they were able to use the older PIP. I bet you they will say no.

All I was saying in my previous post was it was a remarkable site to see. I never had the opportunity to see handicap children at the PIP in the past 10 years that I took my children there. State of the art in 1992, is not the same as 2008. I still wonder how wheelchairs were suppose to maneauver through the mulch at the old playground, but I will take your word that it was accesible.

I feel that those people involved in the PIP have issues with "their" park being taken down. Did any of them fight the town to make sure it was kept up over the past 10 years or so? Did any of them see the condition it was in last year? I am thrilled that my children can enjoy this park without the fear of getting splinters, as they had in past park experiences.

In a way, the people who took part in the PIP paved the way for KIM. They should feel honored instead of being petty.

Yes, state and town funding was necessary to complete this project, but KIM also raised a lot of money. The town took this as an opportuntity to get a new park. They, for once, were fiscally responsible. They realized the old park's life span was only a couple more years and then they would need to replace it. This was a cheaper way for them to do it. The people of KIM worked on grants and the state funding themselves.

So, Anon 8:29, you sound like sour grapes and you really shouldn't. You should be thrilled that this town is progressing.
Life moves on....

Anonymous said...

Did you not read all the way to the end?
"This is not meant to detract from the current playground or all the hard work that the founding members put into making this a reality, it is really a eulogy for the old playground"
I said it was sad that it was not kept up and yes, some of the original members tried to get the town to maintain it but it was a losing battle. Knowing the reality that technology has changed and the upkeep was an issue, the original builders did see the end as inevitable. But to disparage the old playground "finally able to play" was not fair either and to imply that this was the first time in the town's history that people came together to build something to benefit the town is inaccurate also. People who did not live here when PIP was built would not have known how special that project was and that was the point of my post. "It makes me proud to live in a community with people who actually care about each other"? always just didn't know it. Now you do.

Anonymous said...

I did read to the end, but it is quite obvious that you are more upset about the old playground coming down then excited about the new one.

I did live in the town when the PIP was built and I thought it was a wonderful endeavor. I am not criticizing the efforts by any means.

I am not "disparaging" the old playground, I just know that it was not as accessible as this new one. Perhaps handicap children did play at this playgound, I just never saw them.
The worst part of the new playground was that the people who spearheaded KIM had to endure some very harrassing phone calls and emails from some of the originators of the PIP. That was totally unfair.

KIM never was going to replace the old playground, it was going to be in addition to. They approached the town as they noticed the old playground started to decay. It was a win/win for everyone involved.
"Newsflash..." Never said nor implied this was the first time this community came together to build something. Re-read.
I think it is ridiculous that you have taken a post saying what a wonderful playgound this town has and turn it into a negative the way you are trying.
I think you need to readjust your thinking and see that I never said 1 negative thing about the PIP. The only thing I really said was it was getting old.
Is it wrong to praise the hard work of people in this town who brought us a state of the art playground?
I am just saddened that there was so much negativity by the people involved in PIP. They are taking a good thing they did 16 years ago and leaving a sour taste in many people's mouths.
Lets all be happy and show "we care about each other" instead of arguing about why you think your playground was better. It doesn't matter anymore.

Anonymous said...

8:29 Thanks for the eulogy on the original playground in the park! I think it was nice that you gave us the background information on that wonderful playground. I took my niece there many times and she loved it. I know there was much hard work that went into making the playground.
Not quite sure why these negative posts are coming from the "KIM" person. Obviously they don't understand that you were just giving us a "history" lesson.
I haven't been over to the new playground yet but I did hear it has a "rubber tire" base which concerns me a bit as far as safety goes. Although it's not the same rubber crumb infill like they want to put over at the CHS football field, I have read some negative info about chemicals and toxins in tires. Hopefully there's no problem with this new playground!

Anonymous said...

First, I am not a "KIM Person". I do know a couple of volunteers but other than that, I am in no way involved. I am just a happy citizen to have such a lovely playground.
Second, re-read my posts. I never said anything negative about the PIP. I applauded their efforts as well. I am sure at the time, it was state of the art.
Third, a history lesson sticks to the facts, 8:29 chose to pick apart my original post. I was excited to see something that I never saw before, is that wrong?
I really think you need to stop thinking we hated the PIP. I used it many times with my kids, but I am thrilled to have a newer one to take them to.
Fourth, don't go there with the "recycled rubber tires". This is one of the safest surfaces available. Did we not have actual rubber tires in the old park?

Again, can't we remember the efforts of both groups without trying to one up each other?

Anonymous said...

4:14 "one up each other?" Look who's talking.

Anonymous said...

Please respect each other. The PIP was great when it opened and KIM is great now that it's openend. I'm sure KP3(Kids playground 3) will be great in the future. Kids love to play and I will bet that they don't care who built it etc. Enjoy it!!! thanks to all the PIP and KIM volunteers.

Anonymous said...

I find this very interesting.
On one side are people who built a state of the are playground 16 years ago, on the other side are people who built a new, state of the art playground.
Why battle eachother?
Why re-hash what happened 16 years ago? Accept change and move along.
You ruin what is good about this town and are showing a jealous side. There is nothing to be bitter or jealous about. You accomplished something great 16 years ago just like those people did this year.
Congratulate eachother.
You are beginiing to sound like the TC.

Anonymous said...

you two are embarassing. Grow up - in both cases the kids won.