The time has come and today is the day to celebrate the completion and official debut of the Williams Tot Park. After years of dreaming and planning for upgrades to the park equipment and design, the ribbon cutting ceremony will be held today from 2-3:30 p.m. at the park located at 310 W. Sherman Ave.
Events will include brief presentations by Williams Mayor Ken Edes and Northern Arizona Council of Governments Head Start Director Jesse Rodriguez as well as refreshments and fun. The entire community is invited to attend the event to recognize the hours of work and dedication committed to the project by city of Williams employees and funds donated to the Tot Park reconstruction by the Williams Women's Club, the Greater Williams Community Foundation, Williams Clean and Beautiful and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.
Since coming together, the city of Williams and NACOG Head Start have enjoyed a working agreement in which Head Start leases and uses Tot Park each weekday during school hours. Because the Head Start Center is directly adjacent to the park this perfect fit allowed Head Start youngsters to use the park for their daily recreation and fitness needs.
As the years progressed, time and weather took their toll on the equipment. Equally, significant amounts of research have revealed the type, size and design of playground accessories that are developmentally appropriate for children younger than six.
Head Start associate director Seobaghn Arambula explained what the new Tot Park would mean to the students and children of the Williams community.
"For Head Start kids it assures that a safe and ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessible site is available. It really is a state of the art playground. The new design has areas of grass and areas with resilient surfacing so kids can crawl on it," Arambula explained. "Parents can bring a ball and roll it to the child while other kids can play on the train or on the other equipment. For the community, because it was designed for preschool-aged children specifically, it will engage the younger part of the Williams community."
Arambula said her work with city of Williams recreation coordinator Rose Newbold, as well as City Manager Dennis Wells and Mayor Edes were incredibly enjoyable.
"Rose was a tough negotiator and I certainly played off her strengths. She was a really a great asset to the project and I now consider her a friend," Arambula said. "The support of Mayor Edes, who serves on the [NACOG] regional council has been great. He has actually stopped me personally and said, 'It looks great!'"