In the Spring of 2002, it was decided Sustanable Racine would tackle something larger and investigate construction of a playground somewhere in Racine, using the "Community Built" methods developed by Leathers & Assoc. of Ithaca, NY (Similar to a playground built 2 years prior in a town park near Frankville, WI). In the Fall of 2002, this community group was joined by a Leadership Racine team of six which also had a goal of improving kid's recreational facilities in the City. By early 2003, the "playground people" had swelled to over 3 dozen and, after a year of planning, adoped a new name: The North Beach Playground Group".
The playground design and features were selected based on ideas offered by 4th & 5th graders from Janes and Red Apple Schools, the grade schools nearest the selected site. The playground name was chosen via a naming contest run through all Racine Unified grade schools. The 20,000 sq. ft. playground itself was constructed over 7 days, beginning on Oct. 20, 2003, involving over 2,000 volunteers, with guidance from three Leathers's personnel. The pavilion, brick walkways and 800 ft. board walk winding its way North were done over another 7 days the following Spring. Total cash donations (individual, corp., foundation) to support these efforts amounted to about $310,00, with an additional $100,000 in estimated community contribution in the form of donated materials and services.
On completion, the playground was donated to the City Of Racine.
Kids Cove is maintained by a "Friends of the Playground" group in conjunction with the Racine Parks Dept. Money is set aside to help fund special maintenance activities, as well as cover feature repair/replacement costs, hopefully to span the entire 20 years projected life of the playground. While the City of Racine acquired a well-equipped, handicapped accessible playground through this effort, at least half the reward (and most of the fun) was in the 'barn-raising ' spirit developed among the volunteer builders.