With the sound of the lunch-time bell on May 10th, 2013, the Amidon-Bowen Elementary playground opened with children smothering every inch of the dynamic new playgrounds – finding places to climb and to leap that only a child’s imagination can fathom.

Playground construction was delayed due to an unusually cold and wet winter/spring that prevented the construction crews from setting the equipment and pouring the soft surfaces. The anticipation had been building since December, 2012, when the old playground at Amidon-Bowen was demolished and the playground was effectively off-limits for everyone. During the construction period, children had to remain inside while the nearby athletic fields dried out.

Amidon’s new playground has three distinct play areas. The 2 – 5 year-old play area has a deck and post structure with slides, a teeter-totter, a playhouse, and it’s very own artificial turf field. Visible from I Street is the eye-catching, arch-shaped playground for children ages 5-11. The bigger children have a versatile, professional-style, artificial turf field suitable for soccer and football. New fencing expanded the playground and made the play areas visible from the street, thereby improving safety and appeal.

The playground project was funded by DC City Council and was part of the overall renovation of the school. Playgrounds are expensive and the $500,000 allocated for this playground purchased some of the best equipment on the market. However, there are still a couple of projects that remain. Future plans include building a 50-yard sprint track, a long-jump pit, and installing a greenhouse with raised flower beds.

The playground is open for community use after school hours and on weekends.

A dedication of the playground will occur on Friday, June 14th at 9:00 a.m. with a community grand opening and PTA fundraiser to follow on Saturday, June 15th, at 10:00 a.m.

By Martin R. Welles, Esq

PTA President at Amidon-Bowen Elementary

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