Kiwanis Day Makers of Rochester, MN

Soldiers Field Playground Construction Project  -  May 18-25, 2005     (Scroll down for photos)

The Rochester Soldiers Field Playground Construction Project was an all-city volunteers program which the Rochester Kiwanis
Day Makers Club (and other Kiwanis Clubs) participated in the final assembly and construction of a huge community kids playground.
Hundreds of people and dozens of Rochester Area businesses and organizations lent a hand, equipment and support of their employees.
The playground will include a corn tower, corn maze, snowflakes, tulips, canoe, sand pond, ice-fishing house (with fish), a rock
climbing wall with decorative loons, bucking caterpillar, bears and a moose.  The surrounding fence includes over 600 handmade
pickets with the names of community members, each of whom donated $25.  Overall project material cost were over $90,000.

How did this project come about?  In true grassroots fashion, the project began after a local mom (Sarah Pacchetti ) realized that
her children were playing on the same playground equipment she had played on many years before. She investigated the possibility of a
new playground and found it to be a viable option. After contacting the city (July 2004) and playground builders, she rallied friends, other
parents, and kids to join the design, publicity and fundraising efforts. Thank you, Sarah!

Sarah and Tim have moved on to other projects in other places.  For specifics on the Playground Project, schedule and costs, it is suggested that
any and all inquiries be directed to Jeff Morton,
Rochester City Park and Rec Department Planner, 507-281-6163,
He is the Department staff person that was very involved with this project and should be able to answer or direct all inquires.

The final construction took place over a five, now seven day period from 7AM to 9PM each day.  Mother Nature did not exactly
considering it rained the first four days for at least 6 hours a day.  You will notice the photos of the construction site and
most of the volunteers are foggy and have a wet look.  Brightly colored plastic rain ponchos were a big hit from the very first day. 
As the week progressed over 600 volunteers and well over 10,000 hours of construction time was willingly given by community
volunteers and many "professional" electricians, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and concrete workers.  Thank goodness for
a good set of plans and understanding team foremen.  The "sweat equity" came from volunteers and the "financial equity" from
many businesses and special people who were able to help the project with their financial assistance.

After a two day respite from the rain, the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the "Field of Fun" was celebrated on May 25. 
In the rain, of course!  Enjoy the many photos shown below.  Contact , if you would like larger digital
copies of any of the photos.

This children's playground construction project received volunteer support from many Rochester area organizations and businesses.
Many of the volunteers for this project were found by United Way of Olmsted County and additional information is available
on their web site at:

     Greater Rochester Area            
                 Volunteerism Works 

Day 1 - Holes, posts, rain and mud greet us the first day!

Hollis Feeser and Larry Scilley making saw dust !

Day 1 - More holes, post, rain and mud. 

Larry Krob and Phyllis Jacobs in the most popular tent on site !

Day 1 - Beams, holes, posts and more drizzle !  But the volunteers never quit ... what's wrong with a little rain ??

Ella VanLaningham working the registration tent.  Dry but not warm.  Notice the wet workers exchanging T-shirts for ponchos !

Day 2 - Framing, pea gravel, steps and more rain and mud.  Once the pea gravel was spread, life got better. Less mud to track home

Marlys McCoy with crew chief coordinator Sarah Pacchetti providing directions (lady in back).  Notice colorful collection of plastic rain ponchos on side wall.  Very popular each day !

Day 3 - Platforms, pea gravel and wood bark distributions.

Dave Alexander with carpenter team.  Note the youth doing their share of shoveling and wheel barrowing thru the mud.

Day 3 - Slides delivered and set up.

Don't swallow or laugh with a mouthful of screws !!

Day 4 - Guess what?  More rain but progress continues thanks to huge donated tarps and colorful plastic ponchos.

Thank goodness for this loader and driver as the mud got deeper.

Day 4 - Pouring rain brings painting to a temporary halt.  And yes that is what Minnesota mud looks like.  Fun, fun, fun !

Lunch break when the rain breaks.  Kids are what it's all about!

Day 5 - The sun finally comes out and begins to dry the playground.  Bright blue skies greet the early morning workers and those who arrived after morning church services.  However, late Sunday night the huge crane gets mired in the mud and has too be towed out by Baker Construction's diesel powered Ford 4X4!

Artisans at work in the colorful paint tent where the finishing touches are carefully applied to the decorative leaves, animals and customized donor fence pickets.

Day 5 - The day begins to warm up ... 75 degrees at last.

Mother and daughter bonding .. shovel, haul and spread that bark.

Day 6 - The rain has stopped and the sun came out to dry the playground and the workers.  Young ones begin to show up to help out with Mom and Dad.

Sarah Pacchetti and Tim Peterson (project co-chairpersons) take a short and well deserved break from the hectic action.  Thank you Sarah and Tim for your personal drive and conviction that it could be done.  The children of Rochester are going to love the playground !  :-)

Day 6 - Minnesota toboggan run received late spring snow flakes.

Kiwanians Dick Odell and Larry Scilley take directions from crew boss Dave ... he's the man with the plan !

Day 6 - The four seasonal towers (spring, summer, fall and winter) connect to a slide, toboggan run, climbing walls. Flowers to snow flakes are nearly ready.

Day 6 - Monday morning dawns bright, clear and the kids are circling the playground with eager anticipation of having a great and safe place to play in the coming days. Sarah says, one more day to go.

Day 7 - The special Tot-Lot area for the youngest children receives the final touches, flowers and trees.  The ice fishing house is in the left rear side.

Playground committee board members look over their accomplishment at the Grand Opening Ceremonies on May 25th.

Day 7 - View to the west.  Final touches and spread the bark.

Day 7 - View to the north.  Nearly completed.  Ribbon cutting tomorrow at 5:30PM.  Hoorah! Let the kids in to play !

Opening Day, May 25,2005 - Ribbon cutting and opening of the playground.  And of course, it rained but that did not slow the kids down.  The race to play was on and the TV (KAAL) caught it all.  Ice cream and brownies for all.

Tim Peterson and CC point out the special designs.

Co-chairs, Tim and Sarah, are thanked by Rochester City Parks Director for a job well done!  Now the Park and Rec takes over.

The little ones take to the playground immediately.

It is just a cow but he really loved it and the barn yard!

The bucking caterpillar get a short break from the action.

Pete Bandy and Kiwanians Larry Scilley, Hollis Feeser and Dave Alexander enjoy the moment and satisfaction of a job well done.  These men worked everyday of the project and never faultered as the rains came down.   Great job Day Makers!

Web Services by: Kiwanis Day Makers Club, Richard Odell, Web Master.  Contact for access to pictures.
Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.