Members of Leadership Manhattan Beach Class of 2014 at the Live Oak tot-lot, which they will work to renovate in the coming months. Photo courtesy of Steve Tobias
Come late April, the toddlers of Manhattan Beach can expect a like-new playground at Live Oak Park.
The “tot lot” at the park on Valley Drive is expected to have refreshed train sets, a new centerpiece marquis, new benches and tables, fresh sand and grass, as well as a new H2.O hydration station to replace the old water faucet and a freshly painted gazebo with new LED lights.
This renovation is courtesy of the Leadership Manhattan Beach Class of 2014, who was given the green light by the City Council earlier this month to proceed with their class project. The 24 members are in the midst of raising up to $40,000 to accomplish their vision. So far they’ve raised approximately $8,000, which includes a $5,000 grant from Beach Cities Health District.
“We still have a long ways to go,” said Steve Tobias, project leader and a Manhattan Beach police lieutenant. “Our goal obviously is to renovate the pieces we can, and we hope to purchase a brand new marquis centerpiece for $15,000. We’re on our way, but we’re going to need substantial help from the community.”
Leadership Manhattan Beach has been working closely with the city’s Public Works Department, which last week began resurfacing current equipment at the tot-lot. Public works staff are providing much of the labor so far as an in-kind donation, but the class intends to reimburse the city, Tobias said.
Every year, a new class of Leadership Manhattan Beach takes on a project to benefit the community. Since 1992, the organization has graduated some 400 community members, from Mira Costa High School students to City Council members. This year’s class includes three high school juniors and Manhattan Beach Chief of Police Eve Irvine, who brought the idea of giving the tot-lot a facelift as the capstone project, Tobias said. It was among a number of proposals, one from each class member.
“When the voters were counted, the decision was made by the class,” Tobias said.
Leadership Manhattan Beach will host a fundraiser on March 3 at California Pizza Kitchen, where 20 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the project.
Then on March 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, the Class of 2014 will be on site at the tot lot to discuss the project with the community. Refreshments will be provided.
“We’re definitely going to need more donations,” he said. “We can’t complete what we hope to complete without more money.”