If your child is carbon-based, they likely are spending their summer vacations indoors playing Minecraft or watching television. Those that are venturing outdoors are likely only doing so in an attempt to collect more Pokémon; the exercise and increased vitamin D are just byproducts. If you are looking for a way to bring your child back to reality, consider having them construct their own playground.
Luckily, just a stone’s throw away on Mercer Island, such a place exists in the scenic forest of Deane’s Children’s Park, aptly named Adventure Playground.
“You used to be able to just go and play in the woods and build a fort,” said Katie Herzog, recreation coordinator for Mercer Island Parks and Recreation. “There should be something where kids can go and free play and use their imaginations.”
Spare building materials provided by JayMarc Homes receive a second life while children work with park staff—and parents if the child is younger than 12 years old—with issued tool boxes to create play zones that are only limited by the child’s imagination.
JayMarc’s involvement stemmed from a mother’s trip to visit the park with her children on a summer day four years ago. “It seemed like it would be really natural for JayMarc to step in and help with supplies and whatever (the park) might need,” said Leslie Rousso, director of sponsorship & philanthropy for JayMarc Homes who then reached out to form a partnership with Mercer Island Parks and Recreation.
Adventure Playground is open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday as well as Sundays from now until September. During the month of September the park will be open on Sundays before closing for the season.
Donations of lumber, nails, or tools are also being accepted. Visit their website for more information on coordinating drop-offs, as well as playground rules and participation waivers.