Volunteers hope to raise $350,000 for new Paso Robles playground

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comDecember 27, 2012 

Julian Rios plays with daughter Brianna Rios, 19 months old, while Kainoa Williamson, 8, plays on a swing in the background at City Park in Paso Robles.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

Paso Robles youngsters could have a new place to climb, slide and play as soon as next fall if local volunteers raise $350,000 for a new City Park playground.

The existing playground, a well-used downtown staple, was last upgraded in 1980, organizers said. A beloved merry-go-round was removed for safety reasons a few years ago.

A new merry-go-round has not been ruled out, organizers said.

The project is being headed by the community's nonprofit REC Foundation, which raises money year-round for local leisure-oriented projects through such things as the summer Concerts in the Park series. The playground fund currently has $14,001, according to the foundation.

Plans call for two play structures for children ages 3 to 12 atop a sand surface. Landscape boulders would provide seating for parents.

“We envision the play structure’s design and colors will complement the historic City Park architecture and elements,” foundation President Brandon Medeiros said.

There will also be new picnic tables, park benches and trash bins.

“To celebrate the large existing valley oak, a circular path and seat wall will wrap around, providing additional seating and 360-degree views of the park areas,” Medeiros said. The wall will also help buffer kids from downtown traffic.

To raise money, the group is selling two elaborately designed tree houses donated by a Paso Robles-based company, Daniels Wood Land Inc., whose customers include individuals, film companies and The Walt Disney Co.

Valued at thousands of dollars each, the tree houses feature giant tree trunks with playhouses and whimsical details.

The Pirate Ship Skallywag Sloop, valued at $18,000, has an 8-foot-by-6-foot bow, cannon port and ships wheel. The Monstro log cabin, valued at $25,000, has a 10-foot-base log and an 8-foot-by-8-foot playhouse floor, exterior staircase and balcony.

The foundation sponsors many recreation programs, such as the new Circle of Life sculpture for the Salinas River Trail, and Sherwood Forest.

You can help

For information about donating to the REC Foundation, visit www.recfoundation.com or call 237-3993.

For information or to schedule a viewing of the playhouses, call 237-3993. For photos, visit www.danielswoodland.com/tree_houses.

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