Port Angeles Dream Playground Rebuild 

WSRCC Members volunteered their labor and tools to rebuild the park that was destroyed by arson in December 2023.

The Port Angeles Community was devastated by the Dream Playground fire at Erickson Park last December. Just days before Christmas, the community woke up to the news that the park was torched overnight, rendering the beloved public space unusable and unsafe. The community mourned, not just because the park was recently updated in 2021, but because of the immense community effort it took to provide a playground for the families of Port Angeles decades ago.  The playground was first constructed through a community effort of fundraising and volunteer workshare back in 2002. Roughly 2000 residents volunteered their skills and labor and $185,000 was donated to build the playground. Many of the community’s young adults reminisced about spending their childhood days in the park and felt distinct memories as they assessed the charred remains.

Even more heartbreaking was that the fire appeared to be intentional, and a local teen was later arrested for the damage. Nearby resident AND WSRCC Representative Moana Hao-Wohlwend was at the scene after hearing the news.  While surveying the damage, she struck up a conversation with Howard Parker of Interwest Construction Inc., the contractor that was assigned to rebuild the park. She immediately thought of our members across Puget Sound as the perfect candidates to provide the construction skills needed to start rebuilding the play structures. As soon as plans for rebuilding were approved, our members were quick to answer the call and 15 people showed up with tools in hand, ready to volunteer on Saturday, May 18th. Thanks to our members, the playground will be repaired and ready for use just in time for the summer months.