"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Park tools

One thing I've learned this week is that doing good deeds is much easier in very public places. While it may be tougher to find ways to help out when you're traveling, on vacation, or in the boondocks, it's not impossible.

This week the kids and I joined some friends for a campout at a local rural park. The place was VERY quiet, and the other campers kept to themselves for the most part. We all took turns cooking for each other (but we cook for our own families every day) and I made some scrumptious desserts with the Dutch oven (some present clearly considered these treats good and deeds well done).

But today's charitable deed involved the playground.

The park has a lovely new play structure, including one of those talking tubes that connects one end of the structure with the other. Unfortunately, when they installed the playground, they left uncovered the thin plastic tube that's supposed to carry the voices MYSTERIOUSLY from one telephone to another.

The project:
Cover the pipe so it has a chance of withstanding the tromping of little (and not so little) feet.

10 minutes - While I'd intended to dig a trench, bury the pipe properly and recover the area with the impact material installed at the park (shredded tires), it turns out there's a thick plastic barrier to keep the shredded tires in place and the weeds out. Rather than cut the plastic, I buried the tube in the impact material and stashed the shovel.

Why bother?
Kids have a great time with this modern playground staple, particularly the littlest kids. Without the underground tube, it's completely useless.

Worth it?
It would have been worth it if I'd could have done the job right. Instead I'll send a note to the parks department in hopes that they'll finish the job.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your help in maintaining the integrity of our new play area.
    It's a challenge to keep it clean and things in good condition. I've
    buried that talk tube a few times myself. I re-routed the tube under the
    structure and buried the tube. I think it's best not to cut the barrier as
    it keeps the soil and weeds out of the rubber material. I'm looking into a
    manner to safely fasten the tube without creating a safety hazard for the
    kids. It's great to hear your family enjoyed your camping experience and
    the new play structures. Please email or call me directly if you have any
    questions or observe any other safety issues in the park.

    Thanks again for the input.

    Dan R. Chapman
    Park Ranger Specialist
    San Luis Obispo County Parks
    Lopez Lake


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