Where is it?
The Community Built Park is at 1305 N Grant, parallel to and 1 block west of Pope Street, 1 block north of 12th street, and 1/2 block south of Highway 180.
Penny Park is a terrific stop for kid and parents alike: For kids, it's a fun-filled shady acre with things to swing on, play with and run around. For parents, it's a great introduction to life in our community — a community that works together to make good things happen.
The Gila Institute for Tots To Teens is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation whose mission is to bring together area residents to contribute funds and labor to build quality recreational facilities in Silver City. Their philosophy, stated in their logo, is to "Build a Park, Build a Community."
A small group of volunteers founded the corporation in 1998 and began publicizing the project, organizing the community and raising funds. The culmination of this effort was construction of the park's first phase - the Penny Playground - at 1305 Grant Street, Silver City, in April, 1999. Thousands of people - children and senior citizens, jail detainees and bank presidents - volunteered their labor to build the facilities, designed by Robert Leathers and Associates, an Ithaca, NY firm specializing in community built projects.
The project began with polling of local school children to gather ideas of what types of equipment and features they would like to see in their "ultimate playground." The resulting 15,000 square-foot playground is filled with a huge variety of imaginative climbing structures, slides, swings, bridges, balance beams, castle structures and picnic grounds, shaded by mature cottonwood and elm trees.
Since its inception, GIFTT has developed and nurtured a careful masterplan to build other community resources for tots to teens, including a skateboard park. Ultimately, to complete all of the components in the master plan, total construction costs could range from $1.6 million — assuming a high degree of community volunteer labor — to $3.1 million to have the facilities commercially built.