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Tulalip Boys & Girls Club builds new playground Nov. 11

Design of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club
Design of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club's upcoming playground, provided by Diane Prouty.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

TULALIP — For five years, the staff of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club has dreamed of having a playground of their own.

On Nov. 11, those dreams will finally become a reality, with some help from friends, both local and famous.

Not only are Home Depot and the KaBOOM! Program partnering to provide a playground structure that would otherwise cost an estimated $100,000, but the Boys and Girls Club is also getting an assist from the surrounding Tulalip community, including the Tulalip Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance, Lushootseed Language Department, Montessori School, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program and Lions Club.

"The playground will be in Seahawk colors, since this will be an NFL national build event," said Diane Prouty, administrative assistant for the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. "Bobby Engram will be our special builder. He and his wife tutor programs here, so we might even have a FOX Sports Network show from here. I can't confirm if Max Strong will be here for energy stretches."

The 50-foot-by-50-foot playground will be graded level, furnished with a retaining wall and given the shape of an orca. It will include a single tire swing, picnic tables and benches, stepping stones and garbage containers, and the plan is for approximately 220 volunteers from the aforementioned groups to build it in one day, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The build day will still need volunteers, though, not only to cook food, serve drinks and help out the laborers in other ways, including looking after their children, but also to provide the food and drinks, as well as raffle prizes, dumpsters, sani-cans and even tools, including:

- 20 spade shovels

- 20 metal rakes

- 15 wheelbarrows

- Three manual post hole diggers

- Three corded drills

- Six cordless drills

- Two four-pound sledgehammers

- Two eight-pound sledgehammers

- Three garden hoses with spray nozzles

- Four long extension cords

- 15 garden and cement hoes

- Three digging bars

- Two tamps

- Three stepladders

- Two mitre saws

- Two circular saws

Prouty praised those who have already provided items, including a Marysville rental company that's loaned out a Bobcat for the day, and noted that those who offer their tools can choose either to lend them temporarily or to donate them permanently.

She added that the Nov. 11 build day is merely the first phase of the playground, since the second phase includes the planned addition of Lushootseed language in tactile letters to the retaining wall, as well as interactive electronic story poles modeled after the Tulalip Tribes' original story poles.

"We get an average of 220 kids walking through our doors every day," Prouty said. "We get them from every school on the Reservation and a lot of schools that aren't. I'm so excited this is finally happening. All these little people have so much energy, and our gym is only so big."

This project is non-profit and will furnish deferred tax letters to those who need them. To learn more or get involved, you may call the committee for playground donations at 360-716-4114 or 360-716-3400.

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