Solano PLAY

Working together to improve our park

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Playful colors contest, upcoming events

September 20th, 2011 · Uncategorized

We’re still here!  We’ve had several people email to ask what’s happened with the improvements to the Solano Playlot.  We are still moving forward.  Much of the work since the Spring Celebration/Egg Hunt has been behind the scenes – working with the city to finalize a design for the park and to work out the details.  More on this below.  (If you didn’t make it to the Spring party, check out the video to see what you missed!)

UPCOMING EVENTS: We’ve scheduled 2 events in the coming weeks.  Please mark your calendar.

Saturday, Sept 24, 10am – 2pm – Park clean up party:  We’re sprucing up the park in preparation for our 2nd Annual Halloween Party.  Come for half an hour or all 4 hours – up to you.  We’ll be sorting out broken toys, pulling weeds, cleaning the sand, and repainting.  The park plans will also be on display, and several people will be available to answer questions.  Please bring water, gloves, and a snack if you need one.

Sunday, October 30, 2-4pm, 2nd Annual Halloween Festival: Save the date!  More details to follow, but click here for a peek back at last year’s Halloween Party.

PLAYFUL COLORS CONTEST: After many months of work, the plans for overhaul of the Solano Playlot are nearly complete.  We want our hard working volunteers to make one of the last decisions — the color of the play equipment.  Our core group of planners has worked out 3 different color schemes for the play equipment, and we are submitting those to a vote.  If you’ve volunteered for one of our previous events or work parties, or are able to come out and join us on Sept 24th, you’ll receive an email with voting instructions in the coming weeks.

When will the new park be built?  We are not sure, as there are still a few more steps to go through.  Most likely not until spring, but we’re still crossing our fingers for fall.

If you have any questions or would like more information, don’t hesitate to email us at  Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested.

Thanks again for all your help and support over the past 18 months as we’ve worked to improve this park and build a strong community around it.


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Spring Party & Egg Hunt at the Playlot – Sunday, April 17

April 8th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Spring has sprung – let’s celebrate!   Don’t miss the 2nd annual Spring Celebration and Egg Hunt in the Solano Playlot. In the past year, the Playlot has undergone an amazing transformation, and so much more is still to come this year.

WHEN: Sunday, April 17, 3-5pm
WHERE: Solano Playlot, at 38th St. and Solano Ave. (In case of rain: Noah’s Ark, 555 37th St. and Roosevelt Ave.)
WHAT: Fun for all ages

Admission is free, and activities will include:

  • Egg hunt, temporary tattoos, face painting, crafts, games, and visit from our local fire truck
  • Bake sale and raffle fundraiser
  • Park café, where you can relax and enjoy the event

Volunteers needed! If you would like to help before, during or after the event, we could use a few people to help for as little as an hour or more.  If you would like to contribute but are unable to attend or help, we would appreciate donations of candy or other fillers for eggs and baskets. Please email me if you would like to help or contribute.

Come, have fun and celebrate what we’ve accomplished by working together.

Questions? Email

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Mother Nature postpones weekend hill build

February 27th, 2011 · Solano PLAY Website

Much to our regret, Mother Nature has dictated that our weekend hill build be postponed until the soil can dry enough to allow us to complete our work.  The city supplied a Bobcat and a skip loader to make our dirt-moving work fast and easy, but they were no match for our newly discovered mud pit. If you want a really cool experience, walk around in the playlot’s construction corner and feel a natural trampoline – the soil is so waterlogged that you can truly can feel the earth move under your feet!

We will post again as soon as we can reschedule the hill build.  Stay tuned!

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Don’t miss Solano Playlot community hill build

February 25th, 2011 · Uncategorized

It’s time to start building! This weekend we will build the first new play structure at the Solano Playlot. Join for an hour or more and help create an original, exciting new play feature in the park.  We plan to complete this structure on Monday.  Here’s our schedule:

Saturday: 12pm and 4pm
Sunday: 9am – 4pm
Monday: 9am- 12pm

While rain is not predicted for Saturday 2/26, if it does rain, we will begin our work when the rain stops. Come for as long or as little as you can. Kids are welcome and encouraged.  Plan to bring work gloves and clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty.  In addition to volunteers to help build the structure, we would also love volunteers to help with refreshments and other things. Email me if you can help at

Also, if you missed our park design drop ins last weekend, they will be available this weekend, too.

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A new Solano Playlot coming soon!

February 16th, 2011 · Solano PLAY Website

We are very excited to announce that the City of Richmond is now planning to replace the play equipment in Solano Playlot this year!  Drop by the Playlot for a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday during the times below (rain locations TBD), celebrate with us and give input on design options for the park and play equipment:

Saturday, 2/19: 1pm – 3pm
Sunday, 2/20: 10am – 1pm

Please take this important opportunity to give your input on the park’s basic design or equipment. We held a design workshop on Saturday, Feb 5 to get community input, which we are working to incorporate into the design. However, due to an accelerated time line required to make use of available funds, we likely will not have time to hold another workshop on improvements in this phase of the park’s development.

The city has prioritized these improvements to Solano Playlot this year in order to reduce liability exposure and increase play equipment safety.  As a part of that, the city also will be looking into access routes and points of entry to ensure compliance with ADA accessibility and standards.

We are all so excited to see the park transformation continue.  Please join this weekend and offer your input.

Additionally, next Saturday, Feb 26, we begin building our hill slide.  Please come help us create an original, creative play feature for kids.  The schedule for the hill build is below.  Please join for all or part of any day.  In addition to volunteers to help build the structure, we would also love volunteers to help with refreshments and other things. Email me if you can help at

Saturday, 2/26: 9am – 4pm
Sunday, 2/27: 9am – 12pm
Monday, 2/28: 9am – 12pm

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Spring Celebration/Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 17 in the afternoon.

See you in the park!

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New Year’s Resolution: Design, Build and Play!

January 24th, 2011 · Solano PLAY Website

We are kicking off the New Year with a burst of activity.  We have several events coming up that will give you a chance to shape the future of our community.

On Saturday, February 5, Solano PLAY will hold its first design workshop. Come, bring kids, and spend a morning beginning to plan what the Solano Playlot will look like for years to come.  Bring your ideas and creativity. The workshop will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church/Noah’s Ark Preschool at 555 37th St. and Roosevelt from 9:30-12:30.  We will have snacks and drinks, but feel free to bring some to share. Please RSVP to

On Saturday, February 26, help build our new toddler hill slide at Solano PLAY’s first community build day.  All the materials have been ordered, and we’re ready to transform our dirt hill into an exciting new play feature for kids.  To build our hill, we are working with Richmond-based Scientific Arts Studios, well known for building creative, natural play structures. The project is funded by First 5 Contra Costa. The community build day will go from 9am to 4pm. Come for all or part, get dirty, build something beautiful and have fun. If it rains, the build is rescheduled for March 5.  Please RSVP to

Spring Celebration coming soon! Solano PLAY will host its 2nd annual Spring Celebration in the Playlot, featuring games and activities for kids, treats for adults, and fun for all. Date and time TBD.

For more information about Solano PLAY, questions, to join our email list or to get involved, email

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Happy Holidays from Solano PLAY!

December 24th, 2010 · Photos

2010 Solano PLAY ecard

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Halloween Festival Was A Scream!

November 8th, 2010 · Photos

Halloween Festival 2010

We hope you had a great time on Halloween.  We sure did!  With around 200 people attending, beautiful weather, and lots of fun activities and food, we made this Halloween something to remember.  Please visit our photo album and add your favorite pictures from the party.  One of our neighbors, DJ, made a great short video about the Halloween Fest and our efforts to improve the playlot.  Click here to watch the video.

Thanks to all of you who attended or helped. Here are many of the businesses and organizations who helped make this event possible:  Zoe’s Cookies, Rubicon Bakery, El Sobrante Lions Club, Catahoula Coffee, Richmond Auto Glass, Richmond Fire Dept., North & East Neighborhood Patrol, North & East Neighborhood Council, Party City, Pastor Warner and the Clinton Avenue Baptist Church, Solano PLAY’s core organizing team and dozens of neighbors who helped in countless large and small ways.

What’s next?  We soon will begin building our toddler hill and slide, funded by First 5 Contra Costa.  We want to complete it before Christmas.  Anyone who wants to help is welcome to join.  We will post here and email when our first “build” day is scheduled.

Stay tuned for more…

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Solano PLAY Halloween Festival – Rain or Shine!

October 21st, 2010 · Uncategorized

Halloween is around the corner.  Join us for our first (and hopefully annual) Halloween Festival.

Where: Solano Playlot; IF RAIN, COME TO CLINTON AVE BAPTIST CHURCH, 3017 Clinton Ave at 30th St., next to Burg Park

When: Halloween!  Sunday, 10/31 from 3-5pm

What: Lots of fun activities for kids, including a costume parade and contest, face paintings, games, fire truck visit, but also things adults will enjoy, like our bake sale and cafe, where you can purchase baked goods and hot cider and sit with your neighbors and enjoy the parade.

Email us at if you want to volunteer or contribute.

See you on Halloween!

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Community gain, contest loss

October 21st, 2010 · Uncategorized

Today Kaboom told us that Solano Playlot did not win the contest for new play equipment.  Unfortunately, Kaboom has decided not to release the actual vote totals or percents, and have said only that the contest was “very close” and that we came in 4th place.  While this news is disappointing for many of us who worked so hard to win, and especially for the hundreds of kids who would have benefited from new equipment, we have succeeded in creating a movement of people who care about Richmond’s parks, and Solano Playlot in particular.

I am so proud of how hard we worked and more importantly how we came together as a community to win for our kids and our community.  We have shown what is possible when we come together, and that is certainly more valuable than this prize.

Through this contest, we also have won the attention of many people who have access to resources that can help us improve this park. Winning new play equipment would have been great, but we still have a lot of work to do, and we don’t plan to let these results delay us even for one minute.

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