Community Volunteers To Build Tampa Heights Playground

The Tampa Heights Civic Association, PNC Bank and KaBOOM! are partnering on a new, innovative playground that will provide a safe place for children to play in the Tampa Heights community. Several years in the making, the new playground will be assembled in one day by volunteers on March 2. 

"This is so much more than a playground; it represents part of the implementation of a comprehensive neighborhood plan that the entire community has come together to create,'' says Lena Young Green, president of the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association.

A national nonprofit organization, KaBOOM! has helped launch more than 2,200 playgrounds across the country. Founded in 1996 with the vision that every child in the U.S. should have a playground within walking distance of their home, KaBOOM! collaborates with communities to develop safe, accessible outdoor play spaces for kids.

A commitment of volunteers and community funding is required for planning to begin. PNC Bank, through the PNC Foundation's Grow Up Great initiative, provided the majority of funding to cover the cost of the playground. The Tampa Heights Civic Association is responsible for an additional $8,000. As of mid-February, $4,500 has been raised by the civic association, says Green.

The Tampa Heights playground will also include an Imagination Playground in a Cart, a play space designed by the New York architectural firm, The Rockwell Group. Movable blocks, mats, crates and fabric give children unstructured free play. 

When completed, the playground will be part of a Tampa Heights Health Zone, says Green. Other features include the Heights community garden; a greenway path for bicycling and walking, along with exercise stations and a dog walking area; a basketball court; and a youth and community center with commercial kitchen.

Volunteers are still needed to help assemble the playground equipment and move 43,740-square-feet of safety surface. The playground build-date is Saturday, March 2, from 8:30 am to 3 pm. 

Writer: Janan Talafer
Source: Lena Young Green, Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association

Read more articles by Janan Talafer.

Janan Talafer enjoys writing for a diverse group of clients, including print and online publications, nonprofit organizations and public relations agencies. One of the highlights of her writing career was flying with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa FL for a feature about this elite military team. A journalism graduate of Bowling Green State University (OH), Janan’s early career was in health care marketing and public relations for hospitals in Connecticut and Tampa Bay. She is an avid gardener, loves East Coast swing dance and enjoys touring around St. Petersburg on the back of her husband’s scooter.
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