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Kellogg Park equipment removed

Children visiting Kellogg Park may face a summer with only a few swings and a set of monkey bars to play on.

The abrupt removal of playground equipment at the La Jolla Shores park comes just weeks ahead of the city’s summer moratorium that prohibits any construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Many residents, including members of the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA), only learned of the city’s intent to get rid of the equipment after the fact.

“I’m sure it came as a shock, coming out as quick as it did,” said Dan Daneri, the city’s district manager of shoreline parks. “The equipment was basically at a state where we couldn’t repair it, and so it was removed for safety reasons.”

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Jim Heaton, LJSA chair, said his group was aware of the condition of the play structures and had already tagged the issue for action.

At its May 14 meeting, LJSA discussed plans to fund and replace the playground equipment in rapid fashion. They decided to pursue a strategy that worked the first time around: establishing a residents’ group to raise funds for the project.

In the early 1990s, the Friends of Kellogg Park raised $125,000 to purchase and install the play structures. The group has been defunct for the last few years, but Gulley – one of the original “friends” – has agreed to reprise her role as coordinator.

Daneri, who just recently moved into his position with the city, said replacing the equipment is one of his number-one goals but was unable to estimate the cost of or an installation timetable for a new play structure.

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Mary Coakley, a Shores resident who frequently visited the playground with her grandchildren, said La Jolla has proven receptive to similar projects, such as The Map. More than $275,000 has been raised, although Coakley said additional funds are still needed to offset rising bronze prices and expansion of the scope of the installation.

LJSA is still researching prices and options for playground equipment, but Heaton is putting out a call for volunteers to reanimate the Friends of Kellogg Park organization.

Anyone interested in joining the group may contact Tory Gulley at (858) 459-3084. Heaton said installing equipment is paramount, not just for residents but also for the 45,000 visitors that flock to the Shores every summer weekend: “Kids are only kids for so long. We can’t afford to wait.”

What can you do?

The LJSA and the Friends of Kellogg Park will man a table at Kellogg Park Playground for the entire weekend to raise money for replacement of the playground equipment that was removed by the city a couple of weeks ago. The groups have ordered 5,000 wristbands that will be distributed with each $5 or greater tax-deductible donation for the project. Donors contributing $250 or more will have their names inscribed on a permanent plaque - the design to be determined.

The groups need volunteers to man the tables Saturday, May 24, after 3 p.m.; and Sunday, May 25, and Monday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sharon Luscomb is in charge of scheduling. If you would like additional information, please contact Luscomb at (619) 871-7348 or e-mail

s.luscomb@sbcglobal.net

, Coakley at Coakley (619) 840-0250 or e-mail

coakleym@san.rr.com

  1. For more information about Friends of Kellogg Park, visit them online at

www.KPplayground.com


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