A Playground for St. Christopher’s Mission, Bluff, Utah

Behind one of its historic buildings, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Mission in Bluff UT has a large rectangular area that the resident priest–Father Red Stevens–is developing into a playground area for the local Navajo residents and visiting church groups from around the country.  Other than a interesting dead tree stump, the area was originally a weedy sand lot.

St. Christopher's Historic Mission near Bluff UT

St. Christopher’s Historic Mission near Bluff UT

The first playground equipment installed was a double-wide, four-seat swing set which was cobbled together from abandoned parts, donated pipe and chain, and items purchased by Navajo Santa–a local NGO (nongovernmental organization).  The resulting product looks very professional, if I do say so myself.

Swing Set at St. Christopher's Mission Complete with Lights

Swing Set at St. Christopher’s Mission Complete with Lights

One of the more unique features of the “new” swing set is its 12-VDC, solar-powered lighting system.  This system provides illumination over two of the swing seats and is being used to test the weather resistance of the LED light fixtures.

LED Light on the St. Christopher Swing Set

LED Light on the St. Christopher Swing Set

The next item installed was uniquely designed teeter totter.  The “legs” on the teeter totter are sprinkler irrigation system wheels.  Because of the size of the wheels, the teeter totter turned out to be more monumental than expected.  On a recent visit to the mission, I found the teeter totter parked next to the adjacent building.  I wondered if it was being used?  However, I needn’t have worried.  Leon, a resident at the mission, told me the kids love it and as many as 10 get on it at a time.  The children enjoy pushing and seesawing it around the developing playground area.

Enjoying the Irrigation-Wheel Teeter Totter at the Bluff Mission

Enjoying the Irrigation-Wheel Teeter Totter at the Bluff Mission

On our most recent trip to Bluff (Apr. 2015), two friends installed a plastic slide.  The slide was integrated into the existing tree stump.  Navajo Santa provided the slide.  Solar-powered LED rope lights were added in May (2015).  In the future, additional features will be added to the tree-stump/slide.

Installing the Slide at St. Christopher's Mission

Installing the Slide at St. Christopher’s Mission

The rectangular playground area still has a lot of room for additional features.  Who knows what might be added in the future?

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