Just Like That, Kaboom! Adds Three New Playgrounds In Miami

Apr 9, 2013

For the third Saturday in a row an under-utilized patch of land in South Florida was transformed.

Kaboom! plans to build 150 playgrounds this year.

Kaboom! built a new playground at the Church of the Open Door in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood last Saturday. The effort is the third playground in the past three weeks that Kaboom!, a national nonprofit, built in the Miami area with the support of the Knight Foundation.

RepostedThis item originally appeared on the Knight Blog

The initiative seeks to empower and build a belief within a community that solutions to any public challenge can be designed and created. To do it, construction of a playground is used as a tool to focus community attention and inspire action. Residents are required to model and construct the playground with guidance and support from Kaboom! managers. 

Ultimately, the hope is that the experience will stir further action and build residents’ confidence to tackle other community issues. At the same time, a specific challenge is addressed: kids spending less time playing outside than any previous generation. Across the country, only one in five children live within walking distance of a park or playground.

Two weeks ago, Kaboom! turned a square parcel at the center of Homestead’s Verde Gardens housing complex into a playground. The 145 unit development is home to formerly homeless residents. And last week a long-ignored green space next to the Annie Coleman public housing facility in Liberty City was revitalized with the addition of a playground.

In both Verde Gardens and at Annie Coleman, hundreds of residents helped design the playground and came out to build it. Indeed, the playground builds in each case amounted to daylong community celebrations as residents picked up hammers and shovels to help erect the new play structure.

Continuing the momentum on Saturday, volunteers congregated at 6001 NW 8th Avenue to build a playground at the Church of the Open Door. The design of the new playground is based on drawings by neighborhood children. 

Across the country, Kaboom! is leading more than 150 playground builds in 2013.

Matt Haggman is program director/Miami at the Knight Foundation. This item was reprinted with permission from Knight Blog.