Community – Such a novel idea!


Recently I took a quick weekend trip to Idyllwild, California.  Sitting high above Palm Springs, this quaint and charming town is situated in the San Jacinto Mountains which lie two hours East of Los Angeles.

Idyllwild, California

Idyllwild, California

News of a community based playground project peaked my interest.  A community rallying together…on a volunteer bases…for their kids?  Their shared goal was to erect a full blown multifaceted playground from the ground up.  This seemed too good to be true?  Does outreach and cohesion on this level still exist?

I was blown away!  The locals were there in full force and even some friends and family pitched in from surrounding areas.  A highly organized and skilled team pulled 8, 10, and even 12 hour days!  Within four days, a dirt lot was transformed into a vibrant and imaginative fantasy land for kids and kids at heart. 

Photo Credit: D. Rizor

Photo Credit: D. Rizor

Idyllwild Community Playground - Build in progress!

Idyllwild Community Playground – Build in progress!

Idyllwild Community Playground - Finishing touches!

Idyllwild Community Playground – Finishing touches!

Picking up background from varying conversations, this had turned out to be quite a feat.  Two years in the making – land had been donated, red tape and hurdles had been crossed, funds had been raised, and corporations in the building industry had offered discounts.  This team was a force to be reckoned with.  The Rizor family was instrumental in pulling together the logistics, motivating the manpower, and igniting the spirit of what is possible within us all.

Idyllwild Community Playground - Hand painted & assembled

Idyllwild Community Playground – Hand painted & assembled

Idyllwild Community Playground - Recreation of a local peak

Idyllwild Community Playground – Recreation of a local peak

"Life must be lived as played." - Plato

“Life must be lived as played.” – Plato

Local kid's hand painted tiles incorporated into the project

Local kid’s hand painted tiles incorporated into the project

I was honored to take in a snapshot of the efforts.  The venue was a hub of constant activity.  What did I witness?  People voluntarily pitching in their time, energy, sence of humor, and creativity with smiles firmly intact.  Local restaurants took care of meals by setting up an on-site buffet and the sole elementary school in town set up day care because the majority of the parents were actually on-site!  Even the little ones customized hand crafted tiles to be used as part of the picnic table tops.  Really?  Really.

Idyllwild Community Playground - Imagination

Idyllwild Community Playground – Imagination

I left inspired and hopeful that the spirit of community is alive and well.  Bravo.

Team Idyllwild!

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3 thoughts on “Community – Such a novel idea!

  1. joannebischof July 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Very cool! As an Idyllwild resident, it was such a blessing to watch the whole town come together to work on our new playground. I think my husband hung some of that trim! The kids are having a blast playing there. Thanks for sharing the photos. Take care!

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