Above: Some of the many volunteers prepare for the build. (Photos by Kelsey Shea).
Over 300 volunteers showed up in West Park on Tuesday to rebuild a Central Northside playground in just one day.
KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that builds playgrounds in a single day, partnered with the Mayor’s Office, the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities and the Central Northside Neighborhood Council to rebuild the playground at the corner of Palo Alto Street and W. North Avenue.
The playground that was previously on the spot was worn down and highly utilized, making it an ideal candidate for the program.
“At least 158 [volunteers] we residents from the Central Northside,” said Julie Peterson a volunteer from the Central Northside. “I think that says a lot about the commitment of the residents here that want to build a safe environment for our children, even for those without kids!”
One of the volunteers was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who spent the morning encouraging other volunteers.
“This is a great event,” said Ravenstahl. “This playground will be a great asset that will be here for years to come.”
The newly installed playground has all new play equipment including slides, bridges and even a climbing wall.
Children will have to stay off the site for about a week to allow the concrete to set. After this period, the playground will be open to the public.
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that has built over 2,000 playgrounds in the past 15 years. Other neighborhoods throughout the Northside, including Spring Garden, Historic Detuschtown and the Central Northside have also received KaBOOM! playgrounds.
The project was funded in large part by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and is a part of Mayor Ravenstahl’s servePGH initiative.