News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


JSIS gets new play structure

January 24th, 2011 by master

John Stanford International School unveiled its new playground equipment last week at a school-day event.



JSIS parent Lucie Campbell shared details about the exciting day for the kids:

Our Grand Opening was well received by the 400+ students at JSIS.   We thanked our key sponsors and volunteers and then selected 30 students to be the first to climb on our new 6-sided net pyramid.  At recess later, the pyramid was buried under a pack of kids!

JSIS has one of the smallest playgrounds in the district and the renovations allowed us to open up more area for play as well as add our new climbing structure.  We calculated that elementary students spend over 100 hours/year at recess and we are thrilled to give them more opportunities for physical activity!

This project was funded in part by a Seattle Department of Neighborhood “Small & Simple Project” grant.  In a time of budget constraints at public schools this is a big win for our school and the neighborhood kids who use the playground after hours.  Come check it out & bring 34 friends to climb with you!

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Help install new McDonald School structure

September 13th, 2010 by master

Kathleen Ellsbury, who’s heading up the latest phase of the McDonald School playground improvements, sent us this call for volunteers:

The Friends of McDonald School (playground) at 54th and Latona will install a new play structure on the east play field Sept. 24-26. For more information, see There is a need for back-up volunteers for Sat. the 26th (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or some portion of it) and volunteers to spread gravel and wood fiber on Sun. the 27th (9 a.m. onward). Volunteers should contact Kathleen Ellsbury at 206-525-1566 any time, or (after Sept. 15), Barb Reid at 523-3381.

The project is funded by the City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund, the King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant Program, and donations from individuals and their employers’ matching funds.

The photo below shows the structure as it will look after installation, but there will be a concrete wall around the structure, and an access ramp on the left side of the photo.

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John Stanford School playground meeting

May 9th, 2010 by master

A John Stanford International School parent asked us to post this information about an open house Monday night about improvements to the school’s playground, which serves not just school students but is open to the rest of the community:

The parent led playground action team at John Stanford Elementary wanted to share news about our upcoming Open House, Mon May 10th 6-7:30PM in the school cafeteria. We will be sharing site plans, answering questions, accepting donations and celebrating a huge recent contribution from our after-school provider, LSA.

This grass roots effort has been working for two years to redesign and renovate the outdated playground at John Stanford. John Stanford has one of the smallest playgrounds in the district and there is no school district budget for improvements. This Summer we will be breaking ground on a new play space and need the Wallingford community’s support for this pocket park.

With a $15,000 grant from the City of Seattle, a donation of over $23,000 from the JSIS PTSA and a generous contribution of $25,000 from Latona School Associates construction can begin this summer. The southwest corner of the playground will transform with new retaining walls, seating and picnic benches, and preparation for a new “dynamic” climbing structure.
But, we need community help to raise $25,000 to purchase and install the new climbing structure.

If you, your children or your neighbors look forward to using the playground in the next decade you’ll really enjoy knowing that you contributed to more play opportunities for kids. Donations will be accepted indefinitely, but please donate what you can by May 31st so that kids and the neighborhood can have new equipment installed by September! Let’s not miss this chance to make change that benefits our entire neighborhood!

Please send your tax-deductible donations to JSIS PTSA, 4057 5th Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98105. Make checks out to JSIS PTSA and write ‘PLAYGROUND’ on your check. All donations will be acknowledged on the JSIS website. For more information or to donate online please see the Playground Web Site at

Attached is a photo of the new “unique” climbing structure. We are excited about this structure since it allows for more play opportunities for both younger and older elementary kids.

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McDonald School playground to get net climber?

April 30th, 2010 by master

At Tuesday’s meeting to decide the equipment that will be installed at the McDonald School at N. 54th and Latona, the community favored this net climber.

Kathleen Ellsbury, the project manager for this phase of the playground upgrade, told us that “the design subgroup is sorting out some site preparation and budget issues before making a final decision. We would also have to decide on colors for the final structure choice.”

The second choice resembled this structure:

Ellsbury said the exact date of installation won’t be clear until the group Friends of McDonald gets bids on site preparation, but installation will be this summer.

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