Volunteers needed to help build new Imagination Station playscape in St. Clair

The dream of a new playscape becomes reality next week when volunteers help build the new playscape.
Riley Alley was attending grade school in St. Clair in 1994 when she and her classmates were offered an exciting opportunity not many children their age get to experience.

If you were able to build your own playscape, what would it look like?

Taking children’s drawings, drawn from their own imaginations, designers then used them to create the Imagination Station at Thanks to community support, the children of St. Clair will be getting a new playscape at Greig Park.Greig Park. Now, 25 years later, a volunteer group of organizers have recreated that very experiment, asking area children to draw their idea of the best playscape. The firm Play By Design has been tasked with creating the renderings.

That playscape will soon become a reality and organizers are asking the community to help build it. A search for volunteers is currently underway.

"What’s really cool, because we’ve done this before, is that a lot of people are coming out of the woodwork and telling us, ‘I was there the first time'," says Alley, the volunteer coordinator.

"My husband and I were the kids drawing the original pictures. I’m a mom raising four kids in St. Clair so getting involved was a no-brainer. We were kids when it was built, now it’s time to give back."

This time, though, while much of the design was influenced by children and their imaginations, organizers are making sure to build a playscape that is more inclusive and accessible to all. The merry-go-round, for instance, will be flush to the ground and can be moved by hand, allowing children in wheelchairs to access the playscape feature.

Work is being done at the site of the new Imagination Station in St. ClairThe new Imagination Station will also feature that signature wood-build, though this one will feature a longer-lasting wood composite.

One thing that remains the same is the involving of the children. Alley says that this time around, the most popular feature found in kids’ drawings was a zipline. Organizers had to find the funds to do so, but they were successful, and the new Imagination Station will feature a 70-foot zipline.

The build-out of the new Imagination Station is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 15. Information for volunteers is available online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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