Olalla Elementary School has made an exciting new change to its landscape: A newly planted grass field is officially open for play.
Olalla was the last school in the district to not have grass in its playground for students during recess, but that has finally changed.
“My twin boys are 27 and my youngest son is 25, and this was talked about when they were in school,” Lisa Wickens said. Wickens was voted teacher of the year in South Kitsap last year and was an avid supporter of completing the grassy field.
“We’ve been wishing grass were here since they were in school, and now we have grass. This is a huge accomplishment.”
To celebrate this achievement, Olalla Elementary hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and barbecue for families, students and community members. Hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones were offered along with games and speeches.
“This has been a long, long process,” Principal Ted Macomber said to those in attendance. “This project even predates me, and we’ve finally made it happen.”
Macomber and Wickens invited students to cut the ribbon stretched across the plush green field in the back lot. And once they did, the party really began. Music played as students sprinted onto the field to cartwheel, roll around and play tag with their classmates.
“We’re very excited,” Mylee Miller, a fifth-grader at Olalla, said. “I remember when we were in kindergarten and it was all sand and we always wished it was all grass.”
Miller and her classmate Lainey Eubanks said that during recess, they would come out to the only grass available, behind the dugout, to do cartwheels and lay down.
“Sometimes when we’d come out and play soccer, if you fell, you’d get all dusty,” Eubanks said. “But now, it’ll be nice to play on this. It’s so soft.”
Hundreds of students, parents, school board members and Olalla families came out to join the celebration.
“We were the only school in the district without grass, and now, we have grass,” Wickens said. “We’ve finally caught up.”