A Heartfelt Celebration of Collaboration at Warm Springs Playground Dedication

A bright sunny day matched the upbeat feeling as many gathered for a blessing and dedication of a new playground at Child Protective Services (CPS) in Warm Springs. In a collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, CPS, Every Child Central Oregon, and generous community members who donated their time, talent, and treasure to make the new playground a reality.

The idea had been a couple years in the making as Cecilia Collins, program director at CPS, envisioned a playground in an empty lot behind CPS and shared the idea with Melissa Williams, executive director of Every Child Central Oregon. The dream required persistence through COVID setbacks, but ultimately, the playground, featuring a vibrantly colored play structure, a slide, swings, and a trampoline was constructed.

On November 8, the dedication and blessing of the playground took place. Many Warm Springs community members, representatives from Every Child, CPS, and the generous contributors and those who worked on the project were in attendance. A blessing and drum circle music, followed by a special ribbon-cutting and a time honoring those who contributed to the project with gifts marked the opening of the playground. It was a deeply moving and joyous time. Melissa Williams said, “The privilege given to me to help facilitate this project still blows me away. The power in showing up humble, listening, and building authentic relationships is not lost. The songs, the drumming and honor that was put into today will forever be etched into my heart.”

Many community members worked together to make the playground a reality. An anonymous donor in Bend gave a generous gift. RH Construction provided staff and time to oversee and build the playground. Rudy Clemens of Feather River donated time to clear and excavate the site. Luis Haro and HE Equipment donated equipment to dig and prep the site. Miller Lumber and Mike’s Concrete donated supplies. Warm Springs Christian Fellowship and Jefferson County Young Life provided volunteers. Tribal community members had a workday to spread wood chips in the newly installed playground. Erin Fielder, Realtor at Fred Real Estate helped purchase the trampoline, and Jimmy Rodriguez at Rodriguez Landscaping is donating landscaping services now and in the future.

The playground project truly represents a core value of Every Child – Collaboration. This playground will provide many joyful moments for children and families.