News Update: Needles, CA: Crews continue to work on the new playground at Duke Watkins Park as they get closer to completing the project.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Source: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels (Information)

Needles, California: Crews continue to work on the new playground at Duke Watkins Park as they get closer to completing the project.

Since the City of Needles held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 celebrating the construction of a new playground, ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez has been capturing over the last 2 months the work that is occurring with the new playground on the site of the old playground.

On Saturday, May 5th, 2022, crews continued putting together the new playground which started a day before the groundbreaking ceremony.

The new swing set arrived, and crews dig holes into the ground where the new swing set would be later put together.

On Friday, June 3rd, 2022, crews installed the poles of the new shade structure were installed over the far west portion of the new playground as the large shade covering was laid along the grass to be later install onto the poles of the new shade structure.

On Monday, June 6th, 2022, crews finished installing the new shade covering structure over the far west portion of the new playground.

The smaller new playground and swing set areas doesn’t have shade covering structures over them.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews the, “Only the major play structure will be shaded at this time. An additional shade structure is being reviewed to purchase once the additional playground features arrive, those will be on the next council agenda for consideration.”

On Thursday, June 16th, 2022, wood chips were delivered to the site of the new playground.

Crews later spread the wood chips out all over the ground area of the new playground replacing sand that use to be on the ground of the old playground.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tell ZachNews that, “Today a 40 yard truck delivered 100 yards of chips and a second delivery of 100 yard will be delivered tomorrow or early next week. Today was only a partial unloading. The entire playground area will be filled with this required ground covering and brought up to ground level.”

In response to concerns that the wood chip could catch fire and if the wood chips are safe for kids to play on, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews the, “Wood chips should be fine. The wood chips are special fibers that are designed for public parks and are designed to not spark fire like mulch.”

In past City of Needles meetings, discussions regarding what to replace the sand of the new playground occurred, and wood chips was voted on because playground rubber mulch may not be able to handle the extreme heat of the summer.

Concerns of kids getting splinters from the wood chips have been raised, and so far some members of the Needles City Council suggest for kids to wear shoes well playing on the new playground.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that these items that the B.H.H.S. Legacy Foundation purchased before the City of Needles was awarded the larger Prop. 68 grant of $3.9 millions dollars towards improvements to Duke Watkin Park.

As of a time and date for final completion and ribbon cutting grand opening, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that they’re still working on a time and date for such event.

Stay tuned to ZachNews as the community await the ribbon cutting event announcement for the new playground at Duke Watkins Park in Needles, California.

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