In January, hundreds of students from Salmon Bay School in Ballard enjoyed a celebration and ceremony to officially open their new playground. This playground is unique in that it serves as a play space for all children, but has been specially designed to serve the needs of children with Autism Spectrum disorders. In addition to the Friends of Salmon Bay and the Salmon Bay Steering Committee, the students were joined at the ceremony by several dignitaries including City Council President Sally Clark and King County Councilmember Larry Phillips.
Over the past three years, the Neighborhood Matching Fund supported this project. Small and Simple Projects Fund awards were given to support its planning and design, as well as the construction documents. The committee also received a Large Projects Fund of $100,000 to support the construction. This project was truly a team effort involving City, County, School District, Friends of Salmon Bay (FOSB), business, foundations, community groups, and more. The committee raised its matching funds through activities such as a salmon dinner fundraiser and a talent show, along with donations from community members, businesses, foundations, and a King County Youth Sports Facility Grant. Hundreds of volunteer hours contributed to the project from non-stop fund raising to planning meetings to constructing the site. A highlight was the day ING brought 100 volunteers to clean, paint, and prepare the site for playground equipment installation, not to mention a sizeable cash donation.
Congratulations to the students, Robin Lofstrom and Lance Adams, the co-chairs of the project, and the rest of the Salmon Bay School family.