National playground builders Kaboom! and their partners at the Home Depot Foundation will be working in conjunction with Heritage Community Initiatives of Braddock to bring local kids some fun. Kaboom!'s motto is "It Starts With a Playground" and together with Heritage Community Initiatives, local kids, and members of the community, the borough of Braddock is about to give local kids just that. On Thursday, July 15, 2010 Heritage hosted Kara Hoffman, the project designer from Kaboom!, and members of the Home Depot Foundation to present a plan to community members on the soon to be built playground. Michele Atkins from Heritage explained that this project is, "all about letting the community be in charge."
Kids were invited to take part in this project by meeting with the designers to show exactly what they wanted in their playground. With crayons, markers, and paper in hand, the "designers" got to work by drawing their ideal play ground. Kaboom! is going to use these drawings by the kids in their final design plans for the playground. Danielle Mack, a resident of Homestead whose 3-year old son participates in Heritage’s Pre-K Counts program, loved the idea that community children had a say in the design. Mack felt that, "this will keep kids active and positive about their community."
The playground will be located at 833 Braddock Avenue across the street from the Heritage building. The estimated size of the playground is around 2500 sq. ft. and will be built around the gardens already in place in the lot. Funding for the project will come from generous grants from Kaboom! and the Home Depot Foundation as well fundraisers through Heritage Community Initiatives. Felix Fusco from Home Depot said that, "We want to thank Braddock and Heritage for inviting us in and we are honored to be a part of this project."
With the help of Home Depot and community volunteers the Braddock Community Playground will be built in one day. Ms. Hoffman explained the process at the meeting. Construction will start with two pre-build days to get the space ready for the official build day. On Thursday, September 2nd, volunteer builders will get to work building the playground. It doesn't matter if you have construction experience or not; this project is designed to get the community involved in the build process and Kaboom! and Heritage want as many volunteers as they can get for the build day on September 2.
Heritage is looking for volunteers to get involved in various committees for the project. The committees are: Recruitment and Registration, Youth Involvement, Construction, Resources & Fundraising, Food, Logistics, Public Relations, and Safety & Maintenance.