Playground set for reopening

After a long summer of empty swings and silent slides, the popular playground at Silverdale Waterfront Park is ready to get back in the business of fun and games come 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

It was early June when volunteers cleared out the old wood chips to make way for a Nike Grind surface. Then the $70,000 project hit a snag when the original contractor wasn’t bonded to work in Washington, forcing the Public Works Department to look elsewhere in hopes it could be finished before Whaling Days, the park’s biggest event of the year.

Whaling Days came and went with the playground fenced off and no sign of the 24,000 used athletic shoes collected earlier this year in Kitsap County for the Reuse-A-Shoe project that was spearheaded by Leadership Kitsap and Kitsap County Public Works. That effort secured a $20,000 grant from Nike with the remaining costs covered by the state Department of Ecology and public works.

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