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Volunteers will help spruce up downtown space in preperation for new playground.

COURTESY PHOTO: DEPAVE - Volunteers will spend part of Saturday removing asphalt from the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club near downtown. The nonprofit plans to build a new outdoor play area for kids on the former parking lot.Hillsboro's Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club is inviting people to a literal groundbreaking this Saturday, where volunteers will start the hard work on a major new construction project that will build a new playground on the site.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, volunteers from across the Portland area will be at the Boys & Girls Club, 560 S.E. Third Ave., to remove an old asphalt parking lot, where a new children's playground will be built.

Volunteers will remove asphalt in the center's courtyard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of the larger HillsDOer Day celebration, a city-wide event celebrating community service. Organizers say the drab parking lot will be transformed, improving safety at the center and make the nonprofit more welcoming.

The work party is hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area and Depave, a Portland-based nonprofit which transforms parking lots and other paved places back into natural areas.

"I couldn't possibly be more excited about this project, the impact it will have, and that we get to include our community and families in the process," said Rachel Schutz, director of youth, family, and trauma-informed services at the Inukai Family Club. "We at Inukai have been trying to get something done with that space for years now, and it means the world to me that Depave stepped in to make it happen. This project is critically needed to give our youth a safe, accessible, place to play in nature, something that has limited access at our club and surrounding neighborhood."

The Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club offers after-school and summer programs for children ages 6 through18. Low income families and children of color make up about 80 percent of the club's students.

Depave will pre-cut the site so it is ready for volunteers to pry up, break off and cart the asphalt, which will be recycled off site. This fall, crews will build the play area, as well as a rain garden, garden beds and other amenities to the center.

"This event serves as the kick-off to an exciting new partnership between Depave and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area, hopefully the first of many joint projects to create vibrant outdoor spaces that help community members connect with each other and nature," said Depave executive director Erica Mattison. "The Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club plays a crucial role in the development of hundreds of youth per year and we are eager to help transform the outdoor play area from an old, paved parking lot to a space that is more welcoming, green, and engaging."

Organizers are seeking additional funding and donations of building materials to offset the costs of building the play area, Mattison said.

To register, visit depave.org/event. Volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes and legs must be covered.

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