Oct 27, 2014
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What a difference a day makes.

On Monday, the shiny new park and playground at Parchester Village Community Center glistened under the morning sun. A child bounced on the teeter-totter with his father, while some of their neighbors ran around with their dogs near a baseball field surrounded by newly planted trees.

Before Saturday, the children’s play structure  sat aging and often barren, with a sandlot overrun by weeds. The park is now a vibrant place after community volunteers on Saturday took part in a comprehensive renovation.

The community banded together to renovate the park in a single day.

“It’s really great, it’s excellent,” said Chamari Macdonald, who brought his young son, Chamari Jr., to the park Monday morning.

To get an idea of what he means, check out these before-and-after pictures of the park’s play structure:





The community effort occurred on Make a Difference Day, the nation’s “largest day of volunteerism,” according to USA Today, which mentioned the Parchester event.

The fields were selected by Berkeley-based Livie & Luca, a children’s shoe company, and the City of Richmond to undergo a renovation similar to last year’s remodel of Belding-Garcia Park, which was transformed in one day with the help of more than 300 community volunteers. The idea is to provide families a safe place to gather, play and exercise.

Along with a brand new play structure, Parchester’s park was landscaped, with 36 trees planted.

Impressively, volunteers were able to finish nearly all of the work on Saturday, said Park Captain Ken Gordon, who pointed out additional fencing needed to be erected.

Gordon says he is responsible for some landscaping work during the next week, including watering the new plants and trees. He says the new park’s already getting a healthy amount of visitors.

Here are more pictures of the renovated park and playground:

A gathering space located right next to the new children's play structure.

A gathering space located right next to the new children’s play structure.


Park Captain Ken Gordon takes pictures of the new park’s many cool features.

Cool games painted onto the concrete behind the Parchester Community Center, and near the basketball courts.

Cool games painted onto the concrete behind the Parchester Community Center, and near the basketball courts.

Police Chief Chris Magnus posted these photos from the Saturday event onto social media:




About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.