Special Reports

Playgrounds to open in Zina’s memory

McCarver Elementary School students will celebrate two new playgrounds, and their power, on Play in Peace Day Friday.

After McCarver student Zina Linnik, 12, was kidnapped and murdered on July 4, 2007, her friends wanted to make their Hilltop neighborhood nicer and safer in her memory.

Voters who approved a park bond in 2005 made that possible.

The elementary school students worked with students from the University of Washington Tacoma and the University of Puget Sound, as well as park designers. They came up with ideas for a park and garden near McCarver that reflected Zina’s Ukrainian heritage and her love of reading and tetherball.

The young students held fund-raisers and lobbied grownups. Now they have Zina’s Playground at McCarver Park, and a new sprayground at Wright Park, to show for it.

Friday morning, the McCarver kids will head to Wright Park at 10:45 a.m. to test the upgraded playground and have lunch. Formal festivities will begin at noon.

The students will be among about 1,000 people expected for a peace march from Wright Park to McCarver Park at 1 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join the march and celebrate the students’ achievements.

Kathleen Merryman, staff writer