An Expanding Playground in Navajoland

Several years ago, employees from the Bureau of Reclamation, using surplus supplies, constructed a small two-seat swing set for the residents of Westwater, a small Navajo community located adjacent to Blanding UT.  Soon after that, the GEO Club (student volunteers from Brigham Young University) constructed a small elevated fort with a slide that was contributed by Hearts and Hands in Action (a Utah NGO that does a lot of work on the Navajo Reservation).  Eventually a seesaw, fire pit with short benches, and a picnic table were added.  And a Utah Valley artist/fabricator contributed a large metallic spider.  Local Blanding residents dropped off colorful giant blocks.

Pavilion, Swing Set, Elevated Fort, and Seesaw at Westwater

Pavilion, Swing Set, Elevated Fort, and Seesaw at Westwater

All these recreational facilities were installed in an area that had previously been used for a dump.  The area was cleaned up and flattened, and made into a combination playground and outdoor meeting area useful to both children and adults.  The old tires from the dump turned out to be very useful.

Pavilion with Exercise Area in the Background

Pavilion with Exercise Area in the Background

Fire Pit Area at the Westwater Park

Fire Pit Area at the Westwater Park

Recently a group from the LDS Manila 1st Ward from northern Utah expanded the playground facilities.  Now Westwater has a very sophisticated community park area.  The volunteers added a large pavilion and an exercise area (which incorporated the sculptural spider and large blue blocks).  They also enhanced the fire pit area.  The park is a vivid demonstration of what can be accomplished with limited resources and groups of dedicated volunteers.

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This entry was posted in mormonism, Navajoland, Playground, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

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