New KaBOOM! Playground for Youth in the East Central Neighborhood
Playgrounds provide an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and get to know other families in their community.
On July 10, 2010, Burten, Bell, Carr, Development Inc., (BBC) KaBOOM!, and Foresters Insurance along with over 300 volunteers including sororities and fraternities, small businesses, local colleges, active community residents, and individuals constructed a playground on East 73rd Street between Central and Cedar Avenues in the East Central neighborhood of Cleveland.
Though the playground was assembled in less than eight hours, the “Build Day” took months to plan. The process included children from the neighborhood coming together to design their dream playground. Twenty-five children let their imaginations over flow onto large colorful drawings of their ideal place to play.
The playground planning team took those ideas and chose playground components that matched what the children wanted. Playground equipment was installed like a “Triple Racer Slide”, “Rock Climber”, and “Toss up”. Once the design was selected all of the members of the planning committee began working hard on logistics and fundraising.
The new playground will provide recreation to more than 700 children and their families in the East Central neighborhood and surrounding communities and provide them with a safe place to play every year. The site was selected during a competitive process that involved many other neighborhoods across the country.
BBC was given the opportunity to sponsor this event with Foresters, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, and KaBOOM! The major sponsor, Forester, committed to funding 20 playgrounds across North America this year. By investing $1.5 million in these projects, Foresters and KaBOOM! will be able to build playgrounds that will eventually serve more than 150,000 children and create opportunities for families to spend time together. The build day for the East Central neighborhood will be one of more than 150 playgrounds across the country in 2010 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
The East 73rd Street Block Club has continued to improve the playground over the last few years by volunteering to maintain it, raising money to install lights and fencing, and holding events there.