Building Community in the Napa Valley

They say necessity is the mother of invention. In Napa, the realities of shrinking city budgets resulted in a very non-traditional alliance of municipal government, community volunteers, and “The Playground King.”

The City of Napa, with Jon Bawden of Ross Recreation, had developed plans for a major renovation of the city’s large playground at Buhman Park. With growing budget cutbacks, the City Parks Department was considering scaling back the playground plans when Jon introduced the department to Jim Roberts, former Napa Kiwanis Club president and community philanthropist, who had worked with Ross Recreation’s certified installers on dozens of volunteer community playground installations. The Parks Department decided to try this volunteer approach and the result was a resounding success for the community, the volunteers, and for city finances! Jim Roberts, his Kiwanis friends, City of Napa employees, and community volunteers came together one day to build the new playground. The event marked Jim Roberts’ 50th volunteer playground build! No wonder Jim has been nationally recognized as “The Playground King.”

Click here to read more about Landscape Structures volunteer builds in Napa from the Playground King himself, Jim Roberts.

Jon Bawden & Jim Roberts, Buhman Park

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