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Barrett's Place Playground in Pendleton SC

Updated on July 29, 2019

Barrett's Place Playground at Veterans Park

Official Logo used during the fundraising and building of Barrett's Place
Official Logo used during the fundraising and building of Barrett's Place | Source

A Story Of A Community Working Together To Build A Very Special Playground

In 2005, the Pendleton South Carolina Community came together in an amazing effort to build a playground.This is the story of how this project got started and why.This is the story of how a small community raised $180,000 in 6 months.This is the story of how this playground was built by 1500 volunteers in just 5 days in the rain.This is the story of BARRETT'S PLACE!

This coming year will be our 10th Birthday and we plan to celebrate with a fun party.

  • October 11, Sunday- Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Barrett’s Place Playground 3-5

Photo: Official logo used by Pendleton Pride In Motion during the Playground Project. Used with permission.

Barrett's Place Playground logo
Barrett's Place Playground logo

The Beginning

Barrett Beck
Barrett Beck

A Tragic Accident Takes The Life Of One Of Pendleton's Youth

12 year old Barrett Beck

The community was stunned at hearing the news of young Barrett's death on June 9, 2004. People were at a loss of how to help the family and the many friends who were grieving. Even folks who did not personally know the family were heartbroken and wanted to do something.This had to have been on Jo McConnell's mind when she had a dream about a playground in memory of Barrett. She presented the idea to an organization called Pendleton Pride In Motion. This group found out that Susann Griffin had previously approached the town with the idea of a playground and had obtained information about a company in Ithaca NY, Leathers and Associates, who specialized in Community Built Playgrounds like the one she had taken her son to in nearby Anderson SC. The town had not been able to make any progress on the project and the idea that it be built in memory of Barrett stimulated much interest.Pendleton Pride In Motion (PPIM) sent out letters to interested citizens asking for donations to cover the cost of applying for 501c3 Non Profit Status. More than enough money was received and status was granted to PPIM. The next step was to contact Leathers and Associates, the company out of Ithaca NY.

Leathers and Associates Website

Barrett's Place Playground Drawing by Leathers and Associates
Barrett's Place Playground Drawing by Leathers and Associates

Leathers and Associates Makes A Great Partner

A Steering Committee is formed

On March 23, 2005 Susann received a proposal from Leathers and Associates in which they stated:Your completed project will be worth about three times the initial cost. For an average playground, the total value of your project can be estimated as follows:Volunteer labor 68%Materials 24%Leathers' design fees 4%Leathers' construction consulting 2%Miscellaneous 2%Leathers and Associates had sent a designer to Pendleton in February. He spent one whole day interviewing Barrett's family, talking with elementary school children, touring the town and Veterans Park. I am still amazed when I think that this design was created and put on paper in only one day. The rich history of our town was included in the design with the entrance being a replica of Farmers Hall along with other historic sights. The design also included things that were special to Barrett such as a wooden replica of his dirt bike, a wooden tent, and lots of turtles.Leathers recommended the following committees. These committee chairmen became the Barrett's Place Playground Project Steering Committee.General CoordinatorsChildrens CommitteePublic Relations CoordinatorsVolunteer CoordinatorsFundraising CoordinatorsChildcare CoordinatorsCoordinators for ToolsCoordinator for Special NeedsCoordinator for FoodDonated/Purchased Materials CoordinatorThe Steering Committee met regularly and all helped each other.

The Fundraising

Super Fun Saturday for Barrett's Place Playground
Super Fun Saturday for Barrett's Place Playground

Fundraisers were held almost every weekend for 6 months

Over $180,000 was raised

The estimated cost of this project was $111,000. We were able to add 3 Picnic Shelters to the adjacent area and still have some money for continued improvements and maintenance. Pendleton Pride In Motion received a PARD Grant in the amount of $20,000 as well as Grants from Palmetto Pride and Carolina Panthers. We had some large donors such as $10,000 from Palmetto Bank and many Individual and Corporate donors. We sold brick pavers, pickets, t-shirts, koozies, Equipment Sponsorships, totebags, magnets, caps, hand print tiles and had numerous fundraisers. The local Churches, Schools, and Organizations were also holding fundraisers and working to raise money for this great project.

The first thing that the Fundraising Committee did was have an Email Tag Game. This simple game raised approximately $1,000 which was our seed money. Each committee member was asked to send an email stating:

This game will run from March 21 - March 31. If you are using a business email, please clear with your employer before playing. Thank you.All you have to do is 3 things if you choose to play:(1) respond to me and let me know that you are playing. You can only be tagged once and should respond to the First Tag.(2) Write a check for $5 to Pendleton Pride in Motion (PPIM) - For: PLAYGROUND and mail to me at:(3) Then FORWARD this to as many people as you can adding a personal short note asking them to read my email message and that you hope they will play the game.

The Fundraising Committee Member who received the most money received a free T-shirt. We had $5 checks coming in from all over the United States and a few from out of the country. It was a fun way to jump start our efforts and spread the word about what was going on.Other fundraisers were:- We waited tables at six restaurants and the tips went to the playground.- Adult Cooking Class- Kids Cooking Class- Grocery Give Away Drawing- Gala and Silent Auction- Parents Night Out- Sock Hop and Car Show- Timeshare Bid- Teddy Bear Tea- Golf Tournament- Ladies Coffee and Fashion Show- Poker Run sponsored by the Class of 2005 Leadership Pendleton- Bake a Baguette- Super Fun Saturday - Squares on empty store window were sold for painting. Other groups sponsored a Low Country Boil, Birthday Party, Yard Sale, Car Washes, Corn Maize, Bubba Bake Off, Super Fun Saturday and more. All 5 schools in our Anderson 4 School District participated in the "Change Our Community" challenge--a competition between the schools to raise money. Each school collected change in jars placed around the schools..

Companies Used For Fundraising - Brick Pavers, Pickets, and Tiles were sold

We used the following companies for our Brick Pavers, Pickets, and Tiles:Palmetto Routers - Wooden Engraved Pickets surround the playground and these are still available for purchase. Children, Adults, Groups and Businesses enjoy seeing their name permanently displayed at the playground. The Beck Family purchased the routing equipment from the company that we dealt with because that company went out of business. They started their own company, Palmetto Routers, and are now making pickets for our playground as well as for playgrounds across the country.If interested in purchasing pickets or pavers for Barretts Place Playground, please call Kim Beck at 864-287-7634.

The Build

Ed Kirkley Project Manager
Ed Kirkley Project Manager

Ed Kirkley is our resident Engineer volunteer

at Barretts Place Playground

Ed, our Project Manager, led a great group of volunteers in weeks of Site Prep and the five days of the Actual Build. It took a lot of hard work on Ed's part to get everything ready for the big 5 day build. He had some great volunteers and they met at the park everyday for several weeks.During the 5 day build, over 1500 volunteers signed up to work. It was indeed amazing. Leathers and Associates had two people on the during the build who worked with the Team Captains to make sure that everything ran smoothly and on schedule. Volunteers signed in and were sent to a Team Captain. Each Team Captain was assigned duties for the day in these areas:Small Assembly; Fence and Water seal; Gravel, Mulch, and Sand; Large StructuresThese are just a few of the pictures. You will notice that it rained on us for several days. You will also notice that we had a surprise visit from the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Volunteer Ruth McKay had won a writing contest to bring them to our playground.The Childrens Coordinator worked with the children under 12 years of age in a separate area from the playground due to the liability of machinery on the site. The Children painted Turtle Cutouts that were placed throughout the park. Barrett loved turtles so the turtle symbol was used. In fact, there is a huge turtle at the entrance that children enjoy sitting on.Volunteers worked hard and feel ownership in the playground which is the way it should be. We are all proud of Barrett's Place Playground.

"Barrett's Place was built with love and I think childrencan feel this love when they are there." Joan Adams

Photos during the building of Barrett's Place Playground - Volunteers worked even in the rain

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Barrett's Place Playground Fun Facts - List compiled by Lynne Parker

Thank you, Lynne

  • Total # Fence Pickets............................1430
  • Total # Trees Removed......................Only 4
  • Total # of Holes Dug.................................340
  • Total # of Nails Used..........................512 lbs
  • Total # of Screws Used.......................47,350
  • Total # of Bolts Used...............................214
  • Total # of Nuts Used................................584
  • Total # of Washers Used.......................1,076
  • Total # of Trex Wood Used.....................580
  • Total # of Pressure Treated Lumber.....2,976
  • Total Chain Used................................270 LF
  • Total Wood Sealer Used...................75 Gal.
  • Total Mulch Used...........................10,440 SF
  • Total Gravel Used..............................130 CY
  • Total Sand Used...............................15 Tons
  • Total Brick Pavers..............................740 SF
  • TOTAL TOOLS USED.................Approx 1410
  • Total # Volunteers .......................Approx 1600

The Opening of Barrett's Place Playground

Barrett's Place Playground Opens October 11, 2005

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Enjoying the Playground

Photos by Frank Breazeale and others - of Barrett's Place Playground

Click thumbnail to view full-size

School Groups Enjoy Barrett's Place

Have you ever visited a Community Built Playground? - Please choose the most accurate answer to this question

Let us hear from you, please!

Have you visited a Community Built Playground?

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Fun at Barrett's Place - Visitors and Residents Enjoy Barrett's Place Playground

Working or Playing at Barrett's Place is always a fun time!

Fun at Barrett's Place

The Spirit of Pendleton will live forever through the laughter of children playing at Barrett's Place Playground and Barrett Beck will never be forgotten!

Children Love The Turtle

Veterans Park in Pendleton, SC

Rent A Picnic Shelter For Your Next Gathering! - Call Pendleton Town Hall

Updated July 1, 2019
Updated July 1, 2019 | Source

Get Involved! - Together We Can Make A Difference!

friends of the park
friends of the park

New Plaque at Barrett's Place installed at October's Birthday/Maintenance Day

barretts place playground
barretts place playground

We had a wonderful turn out for the October Birthday/Maintenance Day with over 60 volunteers. We were proud to be able to install a new plaque in memory of Barrett and a similar one of Justin Trotter will be installed at Trotters Trail.Thank you, volunteers!Note: This beautiful plaque along with the one for Trotter's Trail was vandalized. Please report any suspicious behavior at the park. We have got to eliminate this vandalism.

Where Is Veterans Park? - 500 Lebanon Rd in Pendleton SC

Veterans Park:
500 Lebanon Rd, Pendleton, SC

get directions

Playground Pickets and Pavers Make Great Gifts

Do you have a picket at the playground for your family? Order Now!

Call Kim or Bill Beck at Palmetto Routers 864-287-7634Great Gift IdeaEngraved Wooden Pickets. Each picket can be engraved with up to 18 characters for a donation of $30.00 each.Brick Pavers for the entrance to Barrett's Place Playground: - May be purchased and engraved with 18 characters per line (see note below). 4 x 8 bricks ($100) - two lines 8 x 8 bricks ($250) – three lines 8 x 8 granite ($500) – four lines

Turtle Man in the Pendleton Scarecrow Contest - Friends of the Park entry in the Pendleton Scarecrow Contest

Pendleton Scarecrow Contest Friends of the Park Entry
Pendleton Scarecrow Contest Friends of the Park Entry

Thank you to Kim, Molly and Karen for creating Turtle Man to represent the Barrett's Place Mascot - the Turtle!See more entries in the Pendleton Scarecrow Contest by clicking Turtle Man.

Thank you for visiting! - Please leave a comment so we will know you were here

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Jerry Lisenby, I pray for the Beck family ever day. I have not taken my blue band off since I got it. It was seen by 20 million people on the finale of The Biggest Loser season 4, and around the world as they show our season. I just heard from a fan in Indonesia asking me about my wrist band today. God Bless

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It's absolutely beautiful! love the way the woods surrounds it, too! There would never be enough money in our community to build anything so elaborate, but we did manage to build up one that was falling apart.

    • kislanyk profile image


      7 years ago from Cyprus

      Oh wow that is something else, great playground and the community effort is simply amazing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fabulous community effort you have shared in here and I thank you for sharing yet another blessed Pendleton FOTP story with me. I hope to one day visit the Barrett's Place Playground!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      very great lens. I have never been to Barrett's Place but I been to this lens via a linkedin group.

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      8 years ago from Maryland

      Wow, I have never seen such an incredible playground. What an amazing community project and tribute to a little life that was lost far too soon. Thank you sharing Barrett's Place in this lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      We need new volunteers. Please come join us!!!Kim Beck

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful community story.Pendleton is certainly a very caring town.Bravo to all who put efforts into this project.

    • OhMe profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: Fudruckers was the one that was the most organized. We also had several locally owned restaurants that allowed this. Chili's will do a day and give a percentage but will not let you work for tips.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just curious but what were the restaurants that allowed you to work for tips? Trying to find some avenues to help raise money for medical mission trips through our church. Thanks!

    • LisaDH profile image


      9 years ago

      I've never been to this park or to Pendleton, but every time I read one of your lenses about Pendleton, I am inspired by the passion and community spirit evident in each one. Well done!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Children need a place to play

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It was a total joy to visit Barrett's Place again this weekend! What a special place!

    • Jack2205 profile image


      9 years ago

      Blessed by the Charity Angel.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      10 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      LOve the lens, the charity, and the playground! Great job on this lens. Hope you get all the money you need for such a worthwhile charity.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image


      10 years ago

      Wonderful Ohme! I love the story of the playground and how your community MADE it happen.

    • norma-holt profile image


      10 years ago

      What a great story. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and added to charity-lenses-for-summer-sunshine-giveaway

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 

      10 years ago

      In answer to several, yes, Pendleton is a wonderful community and, having grown up there, know that it has always been. Great Lens, Ohme!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I have visited Barrett's Place Playground several times, I am always inspired by the spirit of the community, It is a wonderful place for many reasons

    • OhMe profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @GrowWear: Thank you, MiMiFriends of the Park sure appreciates your nomination!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      On my way to nominate Barrett's Place Playground for Squidoo's Sunshine Award. :)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Nice job writing about Barrett's Place Playground.

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      10 years ago

      I very much enjoyed reading about Barrett's Place Playground! Nice job!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You must live in a very special community to get this done.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is such a wonderful story and you've done a beautiful job of telling it from start to finish. It was great to see the photos showing the community coming together and the park looks like every child's dream come true. Wishing you luck in getting some extra donations for a great cause. :)

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 

      10 years ago

      Excellent information...just nominated this lens for the contest.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      10 years ago from Rhode Island

      This is wonderful people getting together and helping is special and wonderful to see. such a special lens thanks for sharing.

    • OhMe profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @tssfacts: Seniors seem to have more of a feeling of community or something, don't we?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Living in a retirement community we don't have many children parks. But we all do volunteer work and help out the little town that we live in. Where there is a need the seniors are there to help out.

    • KarenHC profile image


      10 years ago from U.S.

      Very inspiring! Our elementary school did something like this almost 20 years ago (although it wasn't in memory of anyone), and the amount of community participation was awesome. It's a great way to bring people together. We still walk over there to check it out, and it still is in great shape.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Absolutely wonderful. It's nice to see a community pulling together to create something special for the children.Lizzy

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      10 years ago from UK

      What a lot of work has gone into this, it really has done the efforts of Pendleton proud. This fantastic project in memory of Barrett will bring happiness to many. Wishing Friends of the Park well in all future projects.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      10 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      really a great effort. wonderfully constructed lens.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      10 years ago

      What a fantastic effort. Anyone who needs a hand with fundraising should definitely look to Pendelton for advice as it is obviously a very active and generous community. Well done and a great lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What an endeavor that was....I'll never forget it! And what a fabulous community we live in! We are all, indeed, fortunate.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a wonderful way to honor Barrett and his family. I recently visited the park and it is a grand place for children and adults. Pendleton should be proud of themselves. Thank you Nancy for sharing this story.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      As you already know, I love this part and all the volunteerism it represents. Our granddaughter said it best - "This is the best playground in the whole wide world!" I think the children can feel the love that went into the creation of this beautiful site!


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