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Colony Oak spends $150K grant on new playground bark
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Colony Oak School fifth and sixth graders bounce around the new rubber based playground equipment that came from a $150,000 CalRecycle Grant. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It’s as much fun bouncing around on the new rubber playground base for Colony Oak students as it is climbing on the playground equipment.

The school recently won a CalRecycle Grant for $150,000 from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery through an application by former Principal Amy Carter. The work was completed over the Thanksgiving break with 37,500 waste tires diverted from California landfills.

Colony Oak Principal Marlon Gayle said he had promised Carter that he would follow up on the grant deadline and the installation of the new rubber bark for their students as soon as possible. It was Monday that the students saw the new rubber bark for the first time.

“This is the first elementary school in Ripon to have this rubber bark,” he said. In the past play ground safety against falls depended either on wood chips or sand, he noted.

The equipment was made possible through a $10,000 donation from a Ripon contractor, Lauren Jessop, Gayle said. The play equipment was intended for just kindergarten through third grades; however the principal said it may be open to older students when there isn’t a conflict in recess times.