By Mindy Rubenstein | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toco Hills has its first public playground in time for summer.
The playground at Kittredge Park was installed April 25 and opened to children May 1.
Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit KaBoom has awarded grants for nearly a thousand playgrounds in North America with the help of corporate sponsors. The Kittredge Park playground was No. 995.
On April 23, 26 volunteers came to the site off Holly Lane and North Druid Hills Road to dig the 50-by-50-foot plot for the playground and prepare the space.
The following Saturday, 223 volunteers participated in the installation, despite heavy rain in the morning. The volunteers also continued setting up the wooden beds for the Atwood Community Garden next to the playground.
Located in the heart of the Orthodox Jewish community of Toco Hills, the playground and garden are at the edge of Kittredge Park and next to Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael, a Jewish high school for boys that also serves as a small synagogue. The site is set inconspicuously within the tree-lined neighborhood of Merry Hills, which has its first playground since being developed in the 1950s.
Local organizers noted that KaBoom and Foresters were unable to build the playground on a Sunday rather than on Shabbat, when synagogue services were held next door.
The volunteers that day, who were treated to meals and a DJ blasting pop music from large speakers, were from a wide section of Atlanta, including Emory University, Foresters and Friends of Kittredge Park.
“I am so happy to have a brand-new playground across the street from our house,” said Toco Hills resident and psychologist Rivkah Eidex, who has five children ages 6 to 15. “I’m hopeful it will be a pleasurable replacement for screen time.”