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    By Members of the POP Committee

    Improvements Coming Soon!

    Last year, we received a Department of Neighborhoods grant to expand the inclusiveness of the Orca playground by adding features that expand the accessibility of our play opportunities. After many emails and paperwork, we're gradually checking off all the things on our To Do list. We've installed a cedar fence and informative signage at our rain garden, and this month we should see the installation of three new play structure elements. The new structures will consist of two musical panels will be attached to the structure at ground level to provide a great way to stimulate play and sensory activities or kids of all abilities. A new climbing net will also be installed to replace the broken net on the northwest corner of the play structure. Lastly, and perhaps most intriguing, a metal artist has been commissioned to fabricate a beautiful steel sculpture to enhance the pole course on the north end of the track. These poles have been fairly industrial looking since they were installed, but we are anticipating their transformation into a three dimensional oceanic frieze that represents some of Orca's community and education principles.

    Metal salmon prototype.
    Photo above is a prototype of a salmon, part of the metal fabricated art installation that will top the playground poles, in November.

    An Opportunity to Help: Save the Date

    Bring your work gloves to the playground work party Saturday, November 3rd.
    As we round out the volunteer requirements of our grant, join us to clock volunteer hours and refresh the garden spaces before our deadline of mid-December. Whole families are encouraged to share in the care of our community spaces. Warm drinks and snacks will be provided.

    Installation of the metal artwork is expected later in November – dates coming soon. Announcement of dates will come through the PTSA Digest. Volunteers may be fortunate enough to meet the artist and get a front row for the assembly. Stay tuned for more information!

    A Call for Fundraising to Replace the Safety Surface

    Have you noticed the black tire underlayment beneath the main play structure is falling apart? It is riddled with holes and sheds bits of plastic and presents a safety hazard for our students. The safety surface underlayment is slated for replacement and has already secured half the funding needed for project! The PTSA granted $25,000 as a matching grant toward the $50,000 underlayment replacement project – only $25,000 is needed.

    Are you passionate about getting this replacement done? The POP committee needs new passion and fundraising to get the project underlayment underway! This project is a fantastic way to volunteer for a specific (and finite!) action and a direct tangible goal that will be enjoyed by all at Orca. All the preliminary work has been done, so it's all about the fundraising now. Any questions or contributions? Contact Laura Reiter at