|Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined volunteers who built a playground for Warren Gardens Housing Cooperative in Roxbury last weekend. (Photo courtesy of YouthBuild Boston)
Over a hundred volunteers recently came out to build a playground for the children at Warren Gardens Housing Cooperative in Roxbury. YouthBuild Boston, a local nonprofit dedicated to training young people in the building trades, partnered with P&G Gillette and KaBOOM!, an organization that builds playgrounds across the nation, to make the day possible.
The project received strong support from the community and local elected officials. City Councilman Tito Jackson came to congratulate volunteers for their hard work, and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz worked during the construction of the play structure.
“I am delighted to participate in building this new playground with KaBOOM!, YouthBuild Boston, and P&G Gillette, who all see the importance of providing children with a safe place to play and grow,” Chang-Diaz said. “Outdoor play areas are a great way for children to get fresh air and exercise, develop social skills and use their imaginations. Just as important, playgrounds give parents a place to connect.”
The previous play structure at Warren Gardens was outdated, with rotted, splintered wood that was unsafe for the children. By the end of the day, an empty lot in the middle of the Housing Cooperative transformed into a playground complete with swings, slides, hopscotch, a rock climbing wall, monkey bars, an arbor and planter boxes.
Ken Smith, executive director of YouthBuild Boston, noted that the day was a huge success for both the volunteers and the community.
“We have spent many weeks preparing for this Build Day, but the final product is well worth the hard work we put in,” Smith said.
Damon Jones, communications director at P&G Gillette, said this project marked the third playground the company has built in Boston. He said employees now look forward to this activity every year.
“A big part of who we are is helping the communities where we work and live,” Jones said. “It’s all about the kids … if we have kids that have a safe place to play, that’s one step toward a better future for them.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined the volunteers to congratulate them on their hard work throughout the day. The mayor applauded the workers on their dedication to creating a healthy play environment for the Warren Gardens children.
“Physical activity and exercise is crucial to a child’s development and I congratulate KaBOOM! for taking on a cause that receives little attention even though it is such an important one,” Menino said. “This new playground will provide hundreds of children a safe place to play and exercise, helping them to develop both physically and mentally, as well as socially.”
The residents at Warren Gardens agreed that the playground would add a positive component to their community, and provide a safe playspace for their children.
“I think it’s important that we show our children that we value them,” said Stacey Milton, a resident at Warren Gardens. “They’re the next generation … we want them to feel special.”
Resident Dantel Proctor said the absence of a playground at Warren Gardens has been detrimental to the children living there. “This has been a long time coming.”
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