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New playground coming to East Winston neighborhood

New playground coming to East Winston neighborhood
September 22
09:45 2016

Playground Build Day set for Sept. 24 at 14th Street Recreation Center

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

The kids in East Winston will soon have a brand new playground to enjoy. This weekend, community members, volunteers, and local organizations will come together to build a new playground that will replace old equipment at the site near the 14th Street Recreation Center that hasn’t been updated in more than 20 years.

Ahead of “Playground Build Day” set for Saturday, Sept. 24, children in the community had the opportunity to design the new playground during a event held at the recreation center. According to project mastermind Sean Hawkins, more than a dozen children submitted drawings of what they thought the playground should look like.

“It was really wonderful to have the children be involved in this process,” said Hawkins. “The playground is for them, so we thought it was important that they be included in making decisions on what the finished product would be.”

Hawkins, who serves as the president of the Rose of Sharon/Dreamland Neighborhood Association, said after running into a few road blocks in the early stages of planning, key partnerships with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the City of Winston-Salem and “KaBoom!”, a non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, helped turn his idea to bring a play area to East Winston into reality.

“Although we started slow, we just kept moving forward. When you have a goal, you don’t stop because you run into interference,” he continued. “You’re always going to run into interference, but we stayed persistent and continued to push.”

While most of the overhead expenses have been taken care of by the City and Kate B. Reynolds, the neighborhood will have to raise $8,500 to complete the project.

According to Hawkins, although they are still working to reach their goal, a number of organizations and individuals in the community have already pledged to make donations. During an interview with The Chronicle earlier this week, Hawkins noted Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is one of the organizations that has stepped up in a major way.

“I can’t say enough about the help we have received from Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. They have done everything to make sure this project is a success,” he said.

A number of organizations have also volunteered their services for construction duty on the morning of the event. Crosby Scholars, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, the East Winston Neighborhood Association, Slater Park Neighborhood Association, and countless others have already inked their names to help put everything into place on Playground Build Day.

Hawkins said, “We want everyone to be a part of this. Although the playground is at 14th Street, we want it to serve all the neighborhoods in that area.

“Although we live in different neighborhoods, we are all working to make East Winston a better place,” he continued. “This is going to benefit a lot of people. I’m excited to be a part of this project.”

Later that day, after construction is complete, city officials will join more than 200 volunteers to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the project. Playground Build Day is set to begin at 7:30 a.. on Saturday, Sept. 24. On Thursday, Sept. 22, volunteers will meet at the site to make necessary preparations for the event.

To volunteer for Playground Build Day or to make a donation, contact Sean Hawkins by email at dreamland-parkassoc@nullgmail.com.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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