There’s something really exciting in the works in Far Rockaway, Queens. On Thursday, May 30, 200 community volunteers from The New York Mets Foundation, the Workforce Housing Group, and The Child Center of NY will join forces with KaBOOM! — a national non-profit dedicated to building playgrounds for all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America — to transform an empty site at the Dix Avenue Apartments into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in just SIX HOURS.
A bit of background: In March, kids from the surrounding community came together to draw their dream playground, and this new oasis will be based off their drawings! We are confident that it will provide thousands of kids with a great, safe place to play over its lifetime.
“What could possibly be more uplifting to the young people in a community than to have a playground built for them?” asked Deepmalya Ghosh, The Child Center’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Community Engagement, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. “The kids in Far Rockaway are in need of quality places to play, and we’re grateful to the Mets Foundation, KaBOOM!, and the Workforce Housing Group, as well as the NYPD 101st Precinct, Denean Ferguson, and Council Member Donovan Richards for their support in bringing this home,” added Ghosh.
For months, The Child Center of NY has worked alongside these community partners who have come together to plan every last detail regarding the planning and execution of the event, which includes two prep days, May 28–29 — and culminates with the official “Build Day” on Thursday, May 30.
We invite you to join us for any part of the day, which will include an Kick-Off Ceremony at 9am, family-friendly activities (including a DJ!) throughout, grilling by Rock Safe Streets the NYPD 101st Precinct (who will block off the adjacent street), and the day’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3pm, which will be attended by the Mets organization, as well as The Child Center’s CEO, Traci Donnelly, and our board president, Dick Jay.
We still could use help! Work is available for volunteers of all levels of skill and ability. Please register here if you can help.
Stay tuned for pictures! If you can’t tell, we’re really excited.
Update, August 15, 2019: Check out this truly heartwarming video of the playground build and official opening produced by the New York Mets.
Update, July 22, 2019: After taking care of a few safety and structural issues, we are excited that the playground is now officially open to the community! Time was needed to allow for the settling of the construction site, rubber safety flooring needed to be installed, and issues with standing water needed to be addressed so that it would not be an issue post-installation. Thank you for your patience, and we hope to see you there.
Update, June 5, 2019: It was a great day to see the children’s drawings came to life! Mr. Met was on hand to help build — and even danced with Mets owner Jeff Wilpon!. WPIX was also there, as was Newsday, to capture incredible footage of dreams becoming reality. Check it out! We can’t wait to see what happens next.