Rocky Boy playground construction begins
July 29, 2014
The ground was broken for the new playground at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation and volunteers were working hard Saturday.
"It's been going great. Some of the guys have been here since 6 a.m.," said Tony Woods, the director of KHEW Radio.
The volunteers included people from the radio station, Tribal Water Resources, the Washington Redskins Original American Foundation, representatives from Playworld Systems and a few good Samaritans.
The foundation paid for the playground after representatives from the foundation met with Rocky Boy leaders and community members to talk about what the residents thought their reservation needed the most.
"The kids are really going to enjoy this thing," Woods said. " ... As long as they take care of it."
The playground is in the center of Middle Dryfork Village and will be shaped like a big teepee. Woods said there will be many graphics to decorate the structures, such as Chief Stone Child's image and alphabetical symbols from the traditional language. The playground will be rodeo-themed when it is finished.
Woods said a guess from the representatives of Playworld Systems, the company providing the equipment, was that the cost of all the pieces of the playground added to more than $150,000 and the entire bill was footed by the foundation.
"I can't thank the foundation enough," Woods said.
He added that the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins about them refusing to change their name to something more politically correct did not bother him.
"The ones who are angry are not stepping forward to help," Woods said. "Any little bit helps."
Woods said he hopes the playground will be appreciated by the community of Rocky Boy and that it will help keep kids out of trouble.
The representatives from the foundation, Tom Woolworth and Fred Rice, said they have been to around 12 reservations in the western United States in the last three months alone.
Woolworth, the regional director of the foundation for the western U.S., said he is currently working with a number of tribes in projects similar to the ones in Rocky Boy.
"A lot of tribes have expressed interest in playgrounds," Woolworth said.
He said when they met with Rocky Boy leaders, a priority list was made to better identify the reservation's wants and what is most important to them, such as elders, children and culture.
The deadline for completion of the playground is Aug. 1.