Solano PLAY

Working together to improve our park

Solano PLAY header image 1


October 16th, 2010 · Uncategorized

I just wanted to take a moment to offer a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in this contest.  It has been an incredible experience for all of us, especially the last 2 days of the contest. Click here to check out one of the at least 7 stories that ran on 4 different local TV stations in the last 36 hours.

We don’t know the results or when we’ll find out.  Kaboom posted this on their site today: “More than 650 playgrounds competed, and you voted for the 10 finalists. Now our judges are reviewing the results, which will be announced shortly.”  We’ll post results here when we know them, and share with our email lists.

We don’t yet know whether we won the equipment, but what has happened over the last several days is nothing short of incredible.  We have pulled together as a community.  We inspired and galvanized hundreds, maybe thousands of people beyond our city to vote for our kids.  Thanks to all of you for making this happen.

If you want to join our email lists, send a quick note to  And again, THANK YOU!

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New Richmond Confidential article about the Solano Playlot playground prize effort!

October 10th, 2010 · Media Mentions

Richmond Confidential just published this story with video and photos about the Solano Playlot, our efforts to improve it and this contest. Please share with your email lists to help us win. We will likely lose this contest without many new voters voting today and EVERY DAY. We have only 6 days left in this contest, and we are still stuck in 4th place, but only the top 3 parks will win. Because the other schools likely have full time staff working to win this contest, we really need your help to get the word out and help us win.

The story speaks for itself. Vote and share!

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Article about Solano PLAY efforts in the Contra Costa Times!

July 15th, 2010 · Media Mentions

Richmond residents rejuvenate neighborhood play lot.

From the article:

Park adoptions like these help deter crime, said Tony Norris, parks superintendent.

“It’s additional eyes on what’s happening in the park,” Norris said. “The rate of graffiti and the bad elements seem to diminish.”

Residents have noticed the same. Though they were disheartened last week to discover the toy Jeep missing, they say they see less glass, trash and graffiti and more of their neighbors.

“I’ve seen people come here I’ve never seen before,” Karin Romeo said. “To have something positive like that happen feels good.”

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Councilmember Tom Butt writes about our Solano Playlot!

June 21st, 2010 · Work Parties

6/19 Work Party

From the Tom Butt E-Forum:

After the Juneteenth Parade, I stopped by the Solano Playlot to check out the great things I have been hearing about the neighborhood adopting and improving the park. It’s really an inspiration. See the website at

The community is totally changing the park for the better and using it intensely. The City installed gates and provided soil and wood chips, Several nurseries had donated plants, including The Watershed Nursery and Annie’s Annuals. Volunteers were planting, cleaning and painting.

They are looking for planners and landscape architects who might volunteer to help prepare an expanded plan for the entire area around the park that would include the adjacent streets and add traffic calming and road diets in the future.

For more information, contact

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A more green (and blue and purple) park

June 20th, 2010 · Uncategorized

Our June 19th work party was a lot of fun.  We had painting and planting teams working from 10-2.  Painters added beautiful blue, purple and orange colors to the park’s benches, swingset and climbing structure, and planters created another lovely raised bed of plants.  If you haven’t already, stop by and enjoy all the changes underway.  As always, thanks to Catahoula (Best in the Bay!) for the great coffee and neighbors who brought lemonade and snacks to keep us going.

If you want to receive updates about our activities and events, send an email to  We also post event notices here and on our banner in the park.  And, as always, please contact us if you want to get involved.  We’ve got endless opportunities!

See you in the park.

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Next work party Saturday, June 19, 10am

June 7th, 2010 · Work Parties

Join your neighbors for some fun, sun, and a little work as we beautify the Solano Playlot.  We’ll be planting, painting and cleaning the sand, and will have lemonade, coffee and water to keep us going.  The City will provide tools, so just bring your work gloves.  All ages welcome, as always.  More details as we have them.

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Greening our Playlot

June 7th, 2010 · Work Parties

5/22 Work Party

Solano PLAY held its second work party on May 22, when 30+ volunteers painted, weeded, cleaned sand and most noticeably added plants.  With dirt, logs and wood chips from the City of Richmond, and dozens of plants donated by neighbors, Annie’s Annuals, the Watershed Nursery and others, we began adding some green to the playlot.

Our next work party will be on Saturday, June 19 beginning at 10am.  More details to come…

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Thank You, Volunteers!

May 16th, 2010 · Work Parties

Many thanks to the 20 or so volunteers who made our 5/15 playlot clean up day a success.  We sifted tons of sand, removing broken glass, rusted nails, and other debris.  We weeded, and we even painted, adding some bright new colors to the play structures and touching up problem spots.

Our kids were instrumental, helping with cleaning and painting projects and staffing a full service, fresh-squeezed lemonade stand.  (Mayor Gayle McLaughlin even dropped by for a visit, thanking us for our hard work and enjoying a tall glass of kid-squeezed lemonade.)  Our kids also had lots of opportunities for fun, especially climbing the tall sand mounds of freshly sifted sand, and searching for any treasures revealed in the sifting.

On Saturday 5/22 beginning at 10am, we’ll finish cleaning and painting, and begin to add some plants.  Please join us for lemonade, coffee, community, a little hard work, and a lot of fun.

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Get dirty and clean up our park

May 10th, 2010 · Work Parties

On Saturday, May 15 and the following Saturday, May 22 from 10am to 12pm Solano PLAY is hosting its first work parties in the Solano Playlot .  On May 15, we will be thoroughly cleaning the the park, removing debris and painting.  At the May 22 work party we will begin greening the park.  All ages welcome, and there will be kid-friendly activities. Join us for a couple hours of fun!

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Egg hunt a huge success

April 26th, 2010 · Solano PLAY Website

Solano PLAY held its kickoff event – a spring celebration and egg hunt – in the Solano Playlot on April 3, 2010.  With three weeks’ notice and 15 volunteers, we created an amazingly successful and fun event for kids.  Our outreach efforts, including hand delivering flyers to every house and apartment within 3 blocks of the park and emails to neighborhood email lists, yielded an estimated 200 attendees.  We organized a visit from our local fire truck, face painting, coloring activities, an egg hunt for tots and for older kids, sack races and several other games, and two piñatas.  We also had a “design your own Solano Playlot” activity and survey for capturing people’s input on what should go in a redesigned Solano Playlot.  (In case you missed it, you can fill one out, too, by visiting Your Ideas Matter page on this site.)

Recognizing the importance of our city’s support and involvement, we invited several elected officials and were honored to have Richmond’s Mayor McLaughlin speak. Other city officials in attendance were city council members Myrna Lopez and Nat Bates and Park and Recreation commissioner Corky Booze.  We would like to thank all of them for joining us and supporting our efforts. (Council member Bates gets a special thank you for donating enough candy to fill our piñatas and more.)

One of our volunteers reached out to local merchants for donations, and with these we held a bake sale and raffle, the proceeds from which more than covered our expenses. For their generous contributions, we would like to thank the Catahoula Coffee, Boilerhouse, Rubicon Bakery, Zoe’s Cookies and Safeway.

To see photos from the event, please visit our Photos page.

The success of this event speaks to the level of support and interest our community has for our efforts to improve the Solano Playlot.

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