No more splinters or scraped knees

Cooper Rhoades, 20 months, of Silverdale plays on the new toy donated by the Kiwanis Club of Silverdale.  - Photo by Kassie Korich
Cooper Rhoades, 20 months, of Silverdale plays on the new toy donated by the Kiwanis Club of Silverdale.
— image credit: Photo by Kassie Korich

With their shoes off and excitement in their eyes, children energetically ran from one playground toy to another on the new and somewhat bouncy Nike Grind surface at Silverdale Waterfront Park on Saturday.

They were there to help celebrate the playground’s official re-opening and with a look of determination in their eyes and fidgeting fingers they could hardly wait for the ceremonial ribbon to be cut.

And as Kitsap County Commissioner Patty Lent put it, “slivers and skinned knees are no longer the case.”

For many parents in attendance, the new surface is a welcome relief to the wood chips that once covered the playground.

“It’s great, it makes me want to take off my shoes,” said Patti Easton of Indianola. “I wish we had parks like this when we were growing up.”

The bouncy feel the surface has to it would not be there if it weren’t for the used tennis shoes that were donated by the community and then ground up into surface material.

More than 24,000 used athletic shoes were donated by the community in support of the project which was spearheaded by Kitsap County Public Works and Leadership Kitsap. Cameron Teller, Terri Washburn (also of Kitsap County Public Works), Melissa Tippets, Randy Crenshaw, John Hudson and Diane Jennings were all part of the Leadership Kitsap class that chose it as their community project.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this project group for what they accomplished and all the hard work they put into it,” said Rick Tift, vice president of Leadership Kitsap. “It’s nice to see the fruits of their labor.”

And despite a few delays, including the original company hired to install the surface not being bonded to work in Washington, the project pulled through.

“We think it’s the best park in Kitsap County,” said Rob Meyers, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Silverdale.

Club members raised funds to have one of the broken playground toys

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