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Sep-18-2010 12:59printcomments

Defend Irvine's Adventure Playground Sunday

Citizens in Community Deserve Say in Park’s Future and Use of Public Funds.

Adventure Playground
Photos coutesy Mylinh Nguyen and Save Adventure Playground!!

(IRVINE, Calif.) - As Orange County begins to implode over news that a great political debacle known as the Great Park will probably never exist, we learn that another park, one that delighted many who are now young adults in this area, is being allowed to not exist, in a usable state that is.

A group called Save Adventure Playground!! is rallying Sunday 09/19/2010 to make a point of this lack of use, and to seek support in turning what has become an eyesore, back into a useful environment for youth.

Mylinh Nguyen and other members of the group attended this week's Irvine City Council meeting, only to learn that the city manager has no plans of making this place available for kids living here now. The land is still reserved for a park, but the idea of an ambitious project to restore Adventure Playground seemed to be of little interest to Irvine.

Nguyen says in regard to the Sunday rally, "Defenders of Adventure Playground call on friends and family of the University Park community and surrounding areas to join together in defending Adventure Playground. Our goal is to rally support, spread the word, improve community organization, and attract media. We will be marching to the corner of Culver and Michelson to raise awareness in a friendly and peaceful manner."

It was further revealed this week, Nguyen says, that in spite of requests to revive existing facilities, the Irvine City Council, "has contracted to demolish AP COMPELTELY without notifying the community. Residents and community members of University Park were not informed of this decision and feel the need to voice their opinion."

Frustrated with their inability to make significant contact with the Irvine Council, Defenders of AP made public comments at the September 14, 2010 Irvine City Council meeting, Nguyen explains.

"We learned at this meeting that City Manager Sean Joyce is a primary decision maker regarding AP, that he considers the structures in AP to be 'dilapidated', and therefore require demolition. It is not known what will become of the space after demolition. Following the council meeting on Tuesday, Defenders of Adventure Playground have scheduled a personal meeting with City Manager Joyce, along with the Assistant City Manager, and head of Community Services Brian Frisk on September 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM in City Hall. Mr. Fisk has ensured that AP will not be demolished prior to the Tuesday meeting."

Nguyen says it is the hope of DAP that this meeting will provide insight into the true structural integrity of Adventure Playground’s structures, along with understanding of who exactly has determined that the AP structures are beyond repair, and whether these are professional 3rd party opinions. DAP also wishes to learn what plans the city had for this space after they intend to level it to the ground.

Established in 1977, Adventure Playground has created innovative programs for children to explore and learn in an environment once naturally available and now virtually nonexistent.

"AP is an enclosed area dedicated for children to develop their imaginations and benefit from free natural play. Children are under constant supervision and program guidance when visiting AP. There are only 2 existing similar playgrounds left in the entire U.S. Please help us save this unique children’s playground and raise awareness to the community of crucial decisions being made," Nguyen said.

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Mylinh Nguyen stated 17 September 2010, "We were informed this morning by Community Services head authority Brian Fisk that no major structures will be removed from Adventure Playground until the community has an opportunity to participate in the October 20th Community Services Commission Meeting.

"Currently only maintenance and clearing of vegetation will occur, along with the clearing out of wood supplies, expired paint cans, and other immediate minor risks.

"When confronted about the fact that a bulldozer is currently sitting in Adventure Playground at this moment, Mr. Fisk remarked that the city’s initial intent was to demolish the entire site; but given the amount of community involvement in defending the site, there will be no demolition under further community dialogue takes place!

"That means our efforts are working! Congratulations team, we are making a difference. Let’s keep it up."

The road that lies ahead includes such challenges as:

  • Convening with City of Irvine facilities maintenance and playground inspection staff to understand the structural integrity of current forts and structures in AP
  • Resolving a lack of funding to bring the site operational
  • Bringing AP up to par with the American Disabilities Act i.e wheel chair access ramps, etc.
  • Resolving the AP water drainage problem. Stay tuned for our solution to this issue in future posts.

What most impressed me about this group at the council meeting this week, is the fact that they are using their initiative as citizens to try and affect political change. They are the Americans we often talk about but fail to see. Too many people today are worried about the wrong things, and a handful, like Nguyen and her associates who grew up enjoying the playground, are trying to make their city safer, more educational, more productive. Irvine needs to reevaluate the matter. We will continue coverage of this issue.

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unknown souljah September 21, 2010 11:25 pm (Pacific time)

Sean Joyce doesn't seem like the type to publicly admit that poor decisions were made. One day he may have to answer to the public for mistakes he has made. No matter who you are or what your position in government is, you are not safe from public scrutiny. You should have to deal with it like every other g-man who wants a paycheck with benefits. In regards to Joyce...a quarter million yearly salary and a meager 200 dollar scholarship he offers through Irvine Valley College make him look like a cheap. Maybe he can redeem himself as well as the rather heinous and inconceivable cost and ineffectiveness of that Great Park. Seems like the only Great Park worth saving is Adventure Playground.

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