Construction starts Sunday for Orem’s all-abilities playground; volunteers still needed

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Orem is building an all-together playground.

Orem begins construction on its all-together playground on Sunday.

Starting Sunday, Orem’s all-abilities playground will be coming together with the help of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.

For more than a year, Orem’s been planning and fundraising for the All-Together Playground at City Center Park, near the library. It will have features and equipment that give children of all abilities a chance to play at the park.

Though 3,500 volunteers already are lined up and $500,000 in donations secured, there still are spots open for volunteers and money needed, said Steven Downs, Orem spokesman.

The playground build will span seven days, and volunteers of all skill levels are needed, he said. “We hope there’s a mix of the generally skilled and then plenty of those that aren’t. … There really is a place for everybody.”

Businesses have donated water, food and snacks for volunteers. Habitat for Humanity is providing all the tools — saws, drills, screws, etc. — and the contractor, Leathers and Associates, will have four licensed playground designers and contractors overseeing all the work, Downs said.

“We hope there’s a mix of the generally skilled and then plenty of those that aren’t. … There really is a place for everybody.” —Steven Downs, Orem spokesman

Each of the seven days is broken into two volunteer shifts — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12:30 to 5 p.m. There are volunteer openings most of the week, but the most openings are both shifts on Sunday, Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

The last day of the build will be Sunday, Sept. 11. The day will begin at 8 a.m. with a memorial service and posting of colors. The pastor from Orem Community Church will be giving a 15-message on service and community. “That day is an interfaith build,” Downs said. “All 19 of the religions of Utah County are invited.”

Once the playground is constructed, a company will install the rubber surface, the restrooms will be completed and crews will lay the pavers and reconstruct the parking lot, he said. The playground is scheduled to be open to the public on Oct. 4.

Downs said the city is starting a fund for playground donations, so that there’s money available for changes or repairs. There also are still opportunities for sponsorships.

He said they’ve had interest and donations for the playground from all areas of Utah County.

“Our hope has always been that this is a playground that serves a large region, that is starts a conversation about how to make our play more inclusive in the community,” Downs said.

To volunteer or donate, email alltogether@orem.org. For more information about the playground, go to alltogetherplayground.com.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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