The Playground Built on "Rainbows, Magic and Dreams"

The idea for a monumental playground was conceived by two Northwest Side mothers on a spring day in 1991 while watching their children at play in an Upper Arlington park. That dream, input from students at 5 elementary schools, donations from individuals and businesses combined with the effort of 1200 volunteers over five days in the late spring of 1992 became the original Olde Discovery Playground, named to remember the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' journey to the new world. On May 27th, 1992 construction began.

Additional photographs of the fundraising and construction can be found here.


The lofty $70,000 goal was set and met through fundraising events and the generosity of community members and local businesses.


Local children helping to load bags of coins after a penny count at the former Dick Ruhl Ford.

Facilities were needed to support the 1200 volunteers, including the Ohio National Guard, fraternities and sororities from The Ohio State University and community members from all over Columbus.

Over 3000 meals were served during construction.


Construction continued despite some rain showers.


Making one little girl's dream 'I want to climb over a rainbow and slide down' come true.


An American flag is raised with the last roof structure, symbolizing that construction is complete.

Following a brief dedication ceremony, the playground officially opened for children on May 31st.
The first generation of families begin to enjoy the Olde Sawmill Discovery Playground.

Additional photos can be found here.

 
Details from The Columbus Dispatch January 31, 1992 and May 28, 1992