San Martin, welcome to your new playspace

Over a hundred volunteers from the San Martin Community, PG&E, San Martin Lions Club and organizers of KaBOOM created a new playspace June 7 for San Martin children now called the San Martin Lions Community Park at the San Martin Lions Club on Murphy Aven

The vision of local students’ “dream playground” in San Martin is now a reality.
June 7 through 8, San Martin Lions Club volunteers, with the assistance of Pacific Gas & Electric and Gilroy/Morgan Hill Lions Club, transformed a vacant plot at 12415 Murphy Ave. into a playground at San Martin Lions Community Park.
Sponsored by PG&E and nonprofit KaBOOM!, the project at San Martin Lions Hall is the design of Playworld Systems, who transfused sketchwork of San Martin youth drawings of “my dream playground” into a final design that garnered “overwhelming” support by the school, according to a Lions Club newsletter.
“The opportunity to involve folks in a playground build seemed like an excellent way to beautify South County, create a place for kids to play as well as introduce our town what Lions are capable of doing,” said San Martin Lions Club’s Jayme Simmons.
Simmons, who joined the club in January of 2012, immediately began looking for a way to spruce up the community park and hall off Murphy Avenue.
Meanwhile, Lions Club members identified the need for more playground equipment, in part by watching youth utilize what parts and pieces they could to have fun. Witnessing a youth hanging by her knees from rusty barbecue equipment helped prompt the club’s decision to construct a safer play space, Simmons said.
The site is now also home to hand-painted murals, shade structures and benches. The club’s “mulch team” blanketed the area with a large pile of mulch, and the event topped off with a ribbon cutting.
“I am happy to say the San Martin Lions Community Park is finished, and what a park it is,” wrote San Martin Lions Club’s Kim McPherson in an email. “Through many wonderful volunteers it was built in six hours!”
They didn’t do it alone.
San Martin Lions Club was thrilled to have the support of the local Gilroy and Morgan Hill Lions, as well as a number of other Lions clubs, Simmons said.
“I can’t thank my volunteers enough for all of their hard work,” Simmons said. “We had a handful of Pacific Gas & Electric Company employees really put forth the extra effort and join us a Team Captains on Build Day. I am so thankful for the assistance of all of our community organizations that came together to make the day happen, specifically KaBOOM! for organizing every detail and providing us with the granting opportunity.”
San Martin Lions Club nearly lost hope earlier in the year trying to acquire Santa Clara County approvals for the project; however, club members said that First District Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman was integral in enabling the club to attain County Roads and Airports Division Director Michael Murdter’s signature—enabling the playground to proceed.
“I also want to thank County Supervisor Mike Wasserman for all of his assistance in getting the necessary signatures to make our park possible,” Simmons said.
Simmons also said she wanted to give an enormous thank you to PG&E for the more than $75,000 they donated to fund more than 90 percent of the playground and park beautification.
That’s not to mention the many employees who came to lend a hand, in addition to Cal Fire employees and many others.
“San Martin residents and friends of the community have shown what a fantastic difference a day can make,” she said.