Story Summary

East Sac Playground Destroyed by Fire

-East Sac neighbors found the playground in McKinley park charred on July 28

-Because of new regulations, it is unclear if the new playground can be built from wood

-Community groups have raised thousands of dollars to go toward the rebuilding of the playground

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McKinley Playground Volunteers Brave the Heat

A volunteer works on a piece of the new playground in McKinley Park.
June 8, 2013


Sacramento’s beloved McKinley Park Playground will officially reopen Wednesday, July 31.

The playground burned in a fire last summer. The city says the reopening celebration will feature food trucks, music and kids’ activities.

The playground was rebuilt by 2,000 volunteers.

For more information about the new playground, visit

Local News

Delay in McKinley Park Playground’s Public Opening

McKinley Playground Volunteers Brave the Heat

A volunteer works on a piece of the new playground in McKinley Park.
June 8, 2013


McKinley Park’s playground will not open to the public Thursday night as planned. The playground, devastated last summer after catching fire, was being completely rebuilt this month.

According to a post on the group’s Facebook page, Rebuild McKinley Playground, “due to the complexity of some punchlist items, and the resulting reschedule of the contractor who is pouring the rubber surface, the playground opening has been pushed back a few weeks.”

In addition to contractors and skilled workers, volunteers from the community spent a weekend earlier this month putting together the new playground equipment. The old wood-frame playground was badly burned last summer.

The group heading up the rebuilding efforts has not released a new date for the playground’s reopening.


McKinley Park may have been destroyed by arson, but people in the community did not let the perpetrator get any glory from the tragedy.

Volunteers decided to get together and rebuild the park.

“It was a dire situation. The kids lost a place where they could meet up after school and have fun. It was a big loss for us,” said Americorp volunteer Chad Artis.

Nearby residents remember the fire that happened 11 months ago and say they are thrilled volunteers were able to rebuild the park in a matter of weeks. They just hope no one trashes it again.

“I mean the community can itself can patrol it, and if someone is doing something bad they can step up and say ‘hey don’t do that,'” said resident Lindsey Wilson.

Though volunteers realize someone could set fire to the playground again, they remain optimistic that it won’t happen again.

“Once you make it they are going to destroy it. I think it’s just everybody coming together. We’re going to get it done. You hope people will see us out here and they’re going to appreciate for what it is,” said volunteer Nathan Pollock.

Volunteers hope to have the park open for children to play again early this week.



Kimberly Easton filed this report.


The last weekend push by volunteers to finish rebuilding the McKinley Playground didn’t go as planned, as triple digit temperatures caused a bit more suffering.

But, the project is on schedule.

“This was a scorcher compared to what we experienced before,” said AmeriCorps volunteer Katelyn Kelly, who has worked on the playground project all week

Hundreds of volunteers worked three shifts to meet a Sunday deadline to get the majority of the work done. Project coordinators say the volunteer effort is worth about $350,000. Water was passed out to volunteers to keep the work going.

Skilled professionals, do-it-yourselfers, parents and their kids, artists and community minded residents are all involved.

“I think the enthusiasm helped push them through the heat,” said project steering committee member Cathy Taylor.

Local News

Rebuilding McKinley Park’s Playground


Volunteers will be enduring this week’s above-normal heat to rebuild an East Sac landmark.

The playground in McKinley Park burned last summer. Since then, community organizers have gotten feedback from residents and children about how to rebuild it.

Starting Monday and running through Sunday, volunteers will be constructing the playground pieces. Everyone is welcome, with any level of construction experience.

Anyone who would like to help out can sign up for a shift at


McKinley Park Playground, July 2012


A Sacramento-area Buffalo Wild Wings is helping raise money to rebuild the McKinley Park Playground.

The playground caught fire back in July. The entire playground was razed in early April.

The Buffalo Wild Wings at 3600 N Freeway Boulevard will be donating 15% of their food sales towards the rebuilding project today and June 3.

For more information on the push to help rebuild the park, head over to


The community’s effort to rebuild a popular playground after an arson fire got a boost  with a $50,000 unnamed donation.

The City of Sacramento has scheduled an event at the site of a new playground to announce the organization that chipped in the cash.

$200,000 has already been raised from donations and another $200,000 in supplies and labor has been received.  The city has allocated $680,000 to rebuild the 13,000 square foot playground.

Work has already begun thanks to skilled volunteers who are doing concrete work and drilling holes for over 300 posts that will be installed.  Granite Construction and Teichert Construction have donated labor and heavy equipment to the effort.

2,000 community volunteers are still needed on the week of June 4 to erect the playground structure.  Tools are also needed.  The steering committee that is organizing the construction says child care will be available and some of the city’s most well-known restaurants will be donating food for the volunteers.


In this iconic park nestled in this East Sacramento neighborhood, a beacon of childhood memories is being dismantled.

“Today is is the saddest part of the whole build process is that they are actually taking down what’s left of the old playground,” said Steve Swindle, a member of the Rebuild McKinley committee.

This isn’t happening because of progress, or to make way for something else, but because it was torched last year in an act of arson, and act struck at the heart of this community. Almost immediately, the community responded and began raising money, forming a plan and putting it into motion.

“It’s going to be a wonderful playground,it’s going to be uniquely Sacramento,and there will be nothing like it anywhere in the world,” Swindle said.

The playground will be rebuilt this summer starting on June 4.


Instead of play, serious business Tuesday at Sacramento’s McKinley Park.

The business of bidding brought in about $1,800, as pieces of the playground there were auctioned off as part of an effort to rebuild the facility.

A devastating fire destroyed part of the play space last year and the remaining money bars, slides and tire swings were sold to clear the area for a whole new structure.

The playground towers were originally on the bid list but were taken off at he last minute because the demolition crew couldn’t guarantee they could be extacted in one piece.

After the playground is cut apart on Wednesday, the towers may be available for sale if they survive.