Photo of the Week
August 27, 2017

Back in October 2016, I posted a few photos of a study that I was doing about the Balboa Playground that was sparked by a photo of a wading pool that I found (Click Here).  The next week I posted another photo along with a zoom in of the playground area (Click Here).  Since I posted these 2016 photos I have come across more great photos of the Balboa Playground.  Above is a photo taken from Sosa Hill which is part of a rather large panorama photo taken back in 1920.  This playground complex was very large and had many things for both children and adults. Of course we all know that all this playground land was eventually covered by the Junior College, then Balboa High School, Gym and Bowling Alley.

According to the Report of the Governor from 1917:  "At Balboa the baseball park and athletic field were completed including the construction of a reinforced-concrete stadium.  Playground apparatus were installed on the grounds at Balboa for the use of children.

From the 1919 report: "The playgrounds at Balboa, Ancon, Cristobal, Gatun, and Pedro Miguel were maintained and operated.  Competent instructor are engaged in the work of directing playground activities, a daily program being arranged to provide for different ages and classes of children."

Physical Education in the Canal Zone was a top priority for all the years the Canal Zone existed. This was very evident in the dollars spent on play grounds, swimming pools, play shelters and school PE and after school sports.  The Canal Zone Government took care of its employees and dependents.

Below is a great close up photo of the Balboa Playground which shows all the great equipment and facilities available for use in 1919.

Bottom photo is a good view of the playground and new stadium and athletic field.  Both the below and bottom photos show how popular these facilities were by how many children and people can be seen.



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