More than a hundred volunteers helped build a playground at Mirschel Park, an area around Hempstead, New York.
Several hundred volunteers worked on a new playground at Mirschel Park in Hempstead Village -- a project being promoted by local residents as a way to address childhood obesity and entertain children. During the day, volunteers from the private industry, government officials, and nonprofit groups assisted in assembling the colorful equipment. They also moved 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand.
A youth group in the community that works on the project, I Am Terrace Avenue, co-founder Madelon McCullough said they have been looking forward to this for a long time. Having a clean and safe place to play will help prevent the childhood obesity epidemic and will be good for the kids' mental health, as they see a state of renewal." There's a tightrope, several slides and tri-level bars in the new playground on Atlantic Avenue. "It's not like the playground we used to have that was old and dingy," said Aniya Letlow, 9 years old, who was painting wooden flower pots with her mother, Melody Letlow, 29, of Hempstead.
It had been over 20 years since the previous playground was built, organizers said.
KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, organized the renovations, with funding and volunteers provided by Amneal Pharmaceuticals of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Chintu Patel, Amneal's CEO, said, "It's about doing more than giving the cash, it's about doing things you can see happen in front of your eyes". In the design of the playground, drawings submitted by children were used. The nonprofit KaBOOM! led the effort that resulted in its construction. More than 700 children of the neighborhood will have a playground based on drawings created by the children during a Design Day event last July, according to officials.
Village Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said that the new playground gave the kids a new environment to play in. Installing swings and sprinklers will be included in the second phase of the project, he said, which is scheduled for next summer. This park is very close to Terrace Avenue, which has had violent occurrences in the past. Just six blocks from Terrace Avenue, a teenager was dead from a shooting on Wednesday night.
Just a few steps away from the park is Terrace Avenue, Long Island's worst "open-air drug market." The Nassau County District Attorney characterized it in 2009 as such, resulting in the creation of Long Island's Council of Thought and Action. Rice, who came to help build the playground, expressed that it was a high priority for him as a DA. "This is why community engagement is so important. It reborns communities."
Wayne Hall, the Mayor of Hempstead, has said that he will monitor the park closely.
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