October 22, 2014

TCC Playground Needs Your Support

 

PHOTO BY KELLY ROCKWELL

TCC Playground Needs Your Support

The playground at the Topanga Community Club seeks the community's support for renovation project.

Dear Editor,

As part of the Topanga community and more recently as a parent here, I am aware of great challenges of raising a family in our beautiful canyon. From rattlesnakes and spiders to sheer cliffs and off-leash dogs, there are plenty of things that worried me as a parent but I accepted as part of canyon life.  It was not until I started visiting our Community House, the one open space built by Topangans for Topangans, that I began to see how neglected some of our most valued space really is.

We have one public playground in Topanga. Built more than a decade ago, the equipment is in disrepair.  The pressure-treated wood installed for erosion control was treated with arsenic (a common wood preservative) and that arsenic is released upon contact. It is in an area where our children climb and play every day, and it is also leeching into the soil. There is no sun shade, stray screws and debris are scattered in the sand, and there is a snow fence on the suspension bridge intended as a safeguard.

Over the years, the play structure itself has held up remarkably well for the number of children it has served. The slides are faded but they still bring joy to those who zip down them each day. The swings – while broken-- are intact and creative parents use all means to secure their small children into them. It was clear to me that the playground is not a particularly safe place to play, but it’s better than no playground at all. Still, something needs to be done.

The leadership of the Topanga Community Club has been quite receptive to my desire to form a playground renovation committee. In the past, the club has focused on maintenance and development of other parts of the property and the playground has admittedly not been a priority… until now. The TCC board has graciously agreed to work with a parent committee to give the playground a facelift and introduce new features to the area. 

I invite the readership of The Messenger to participate in our project, become a booster, and/or volunteer to help us with the physical labor of removal and rebuilding of the playground.  We will be having an organizational meeting at the TCC for interested parents and community members on Wednesday, June 20 at 7 p.m. 

The Topanga Community Club is one of the great things about canyon life. I hope that my fellow residents will not simply take it for granted that the facility will always be there for our recreation. We need to give back to it as much as it has given to our community. To become involved and learn more about our project, giving levels, proposed phase information or to volunteer, please email topangaplayground@gmail.com. I hope to see you at the meeting on June 20.

— Sincerely,

Kelly Rockwell