Thursday, September 13, 2012


Design Day has come and gone... and what a busy day it was! We welcomed Lisa the designer on Wednesday evening and met at the playground site to take measurements. On Thursday Lisa sat down with all of the students at Topanga Elementary and asked them what would be on their ideal playground. They excitedly contributed many wonderful ideas that would ultimately be part of the design she unveiled later on Thursday evening.

The plans will be finalized and sent to us shortly and we'll post them here for you to see! There are slides and swings and a zipline and monkey bars and picnic tables, benches and so much more. Please consider volunteering for a committee (see previous posts about committees!) and don't forget to become a member of the TCC if you aren't one already!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Schedule for Thursday, 9/13

This is our designer's rough schedule for Thursday. As you can see, there's a lot of listening, interviewing and drawing involved. Please send your ideas in ahead of time if you have them!! 

ALSO, if you'd like to donate lunch for our design team (architect and designer) or donate dessert/ snacks at the unveiling on Thursday evening, please contact us at 

Thursday, September 13
7:30 – 8:00am Breakfast
8:30 – 11:00am Children’s Interviews at Topanga Elementary (13 minutes in each class with 2 minutes for transition)
11:00am–11:30pm Designer looks over children’s drawings while eating lunch and set up drawing space at TCC.
11:00am- 4:30pm Designer draws at TCC
2:00-3:00pm Volunteers put up kids drawings, decorate, and set up for celebration.
4:30-6:30pm Reboot Parent Committee Meeting (Designer meets with entire committee and anyone interested in being on the committee. (Potluck?)
7:00- 8:00pm Community Celebration and unveiling!

Extra Extra! Design Day is Thursday! Read All About It!

This is the most recently published information about the playground project at the TCC. Please read and pass it along!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Volunteers Needed!

Please Volunteer for the TCC Playground Committee
The new Topanga Community Club Playground is an exciting project with great potential, but we need your help to make it a reality. Part of the idea behind the community built playground is that it is managed and organized by us, the caring and concerned members of the community, not by someone who is simply hired to assemble a pre-fabricated playground. This means we need a great deal of support and involvement from everyone leading up to the week when we'll come together and build our dream playground. Many hands make light work! 

PLEASE consider volunteering to be a chairperson in one of the following areas for the committee. If you and a friend want to share the responsibilities, co-chairs are also welcome. Time commitment depends on each position, but would generally be a few hours a week to start and possibly more as we get closer to our build week, which we hope will be in late April or early May. We need chairs for the following positions:

Volunteers:    Primarily responsible for recruiting individuals and group commitments to provide the labor to construct the project over a 5- or 6-day period. Based on our final design, Play by Design will specify details for work schedules and number of volunteers required. This is also a position that is better shared by two people.

Public relations:     This coordinator has the very important task of building the community support that is vital to a successful project. It is also necessary to thank volunteers and supporters before, during and after construction, and generally give correct information about the project. Many projects have a website that is continuously updated with current information. For Topanga, we already have a BLOG that would simply require updating every week and more often if there's news! 

Fundraising requires a dedicated team approach and a sensible action plan that combines grassroots fundraising, business donations, and possibly some grants. Play by Design will help assist this coordinator or team with sample forms and ideas that have been successful for hundreds of other communities just like ours.

Tools:  Play by Design will provide a list of the tools we’ll need to complete the playground. This coordinator gathers the necessary tools, typically loaned by individuals, rental shops, and occasionally tool manufacturers.  This person or people will be responsible for distribution of equipment in safe working condition during the build and arranges for owners to pick up their tools in “check-in” condition at the end of the project.

Food:  This coordinator secures donations from local restaurants and caterers, organizations, etc. to feed volunteers during construction. Play by Design provides an outline that includes the suggested number of meals to provide per shift each day of Build Week.

Materials:   Ideally, this is someone who is willing to dig in with a creative approach and willingness to seek material donations regardless of the value of the items (not necessarily a person in the trades or even familiar with materials). The success of this individual’s efforts will have a direct impact on the project budget. Lesser-value items will increase the network and base of support throughout the community. This person or team will also need to develop a budget and purchase materials based on Play by Design's specifications two months before the build. If you consider shopping a competitive sport or love to bargain hunt, this may be for you! 

Childcare:   Creates a structured program to provide supervision of children while parents are working on the playground site. Typically, this is a team of individuals, and experienced childcare providers are very helpful.

Design and Special Needs:   This person, who may be the parent of a special-needs child, gathers input on the community’s accessibility needs if any.  Also in charge of gathering the artists in town to be available for the build.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1 Week Until Design Day

A designer from Play by Design, a company that helps communities build their own playgrounds, will be in Topanga  on Thursday, September 13 to meet with students from Topanga Elementary to discuss playground concepts. That evening at 7pm, the ideas submitted to the designers from school, via email ( or brought to Topanga Art Imaginarium will come to life in the plan for the new playground. If your child would like to start thinking about their playground ideas and submitting a drawing now, please pick up a design sheet from the Topanga Art Imaginarium or the green tent at the farmers' market on FRIDAY.  They do not need to attend Topanga Elementary in order to participate. Kids of all ages are welcome to submit their designs!