More funding secured for kidsROCK
The effort to build a rock-climbing playground for Jamestown children got a monolithic boost recently with the announcement that the state Department of Environmental Management has awarded the project a $38,000 grant. Also, the Jamestown Women’s Club recently donated $1,000 to the project.
The DEM grant represents half the cost of kidsROCK, which will consist of at least two large manmade boulders with connecting ropes designed for use by middle-school children. The climbing rocks will be located behind the Lawn Avenue School, where students will use them during school hours, and will be open to the public the rest of the time. Lawn Avenue School Principal Kathy Almanzor, who is involved in planning the project, said that if all goes well, the “very cool” playground could be begin construction as early as this July.
“I’m so excited about kidsRock,” said Rep. Deb Ruggiero. “This is going to be an amazing recreation resource for kids in Jamestown, especially older kids who’ve outgrown monkey bars and swings, but still need the opportunity to move around. This project will give them a unique and really fun place to hang out and get some exercise with their friends, and hopefully help them maintain healthy recreation habits as they grow up,”
Said Town Planner Lisa Bryer, “This is critical funding for a fantastic project for the school kids. We are very appreciative to the Department of Environmental Management for selecting this project.”
The grant is one of 35 local recreation grants the DEM announced last week, and requires that organizers raise enough money to match it. Those planning kidsRock have already raised about $31,000 for the project through donations from the Frederick H. Prince Memorial Fund, the Laurie Foundation, the Leigha Carlisle Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Prospect Hill Foundation, Jamestown PTO, Jamestown Women’s Club, the Lawn School Student Council and several other private donations, as well as through a fundraiser by the Laurie family that netted more than $9,300. About $7,000 more is still needed, and anyone who wishes to contribute can send a check made out to “Town of Jamestown, kidsROCK project” to 25 West Passage Drive, Jamestown, RI 02835.