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Green River carpentry students volunteer, help build Brannan Park playground

post cutting
Two volunteer students use a beam saw to cut posts to length.

When the city of Auburn needed help building a new playground, they called Glen Martin.

Martin, the coordinator of Green River's carpentry program, invited his entire Carpentry 113 class to volunteer with him and help ready the playground site in advance of the official build day.

The morning of site-prep day, every single student in the class arrived on time and ready to work.

"When I looked around and saw that all 16 students were there, I felt nothing but proud," Martin said.
"They were doing what they thought was the right thing."

Martin, who has a long history of volunteerism and charity work, tries to teach his class the value of community service. The students also got a great opportunity to practice their newly-learned carpentry skills.

Carpentry volunteers
The student volunteers at the build site.

The carpentry students did all the work necessary so that hundreds of volunteers, scheduled to work the following Saturday, could easily build the new playground under supervision. They helped inventory, sort and store playground equipment, assisted the playground installer with playground layout and hole digging, sorted and labeled hardware, measured and cut lumber, among many other tasks.

KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to creating playgrounds, organized the build at a brand new playground at Auburn's Brannan Park.

"Preparing for 250 volunteers to build a playground in just six hours is a lot of work," said Melissa Drouganis, Associate Project Manager of KaBOOM! "Glen and his students were eager and willing to take on any task to them and they were amazing! From unloading an 18-wheeler full of playground equipment to sorting, measuring and cutting lumber - they did it all."

Brannan park playground
The completed playground.

The following Saturday, Oct. 17, 250 volunteers from the Auburn community, the Auburn Food Bank, Delta Air Lines, and KaBOOM! arrived bright and early to build the new playground at Brannan Park. Thanks largely to the advance work done by Green River carpentry students, the build went quickly and smoothly.

"The student support was outstanding," said Auburn's Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber. "Their skills, willingness to work hard and community spirit were a perfect match for this project."

The new playground will provide hundreds of children in the Auburn community with a safe place to play.

It was a lot of hard work, but the carpentry students value the volunteer opportunity.Student Jordan King grins, "I can't wait to take my nieces to the park and watch them play on something I helped build."