On November 4, volunteers transformed an unused recreational area at Pomonok Houses in Queens into a safe, fun, beautiful playground.
It took just six hours for residents, neighbors, and volunteers from NYCHA, KaBOOM!, Playworld, and JetBlue to pour and lay concrete, paint a basketball court and playground floors, and assemble playground equipment to build a new playground based on drawings made by children at Pomonok Houses during a KaBOOM! workshop.
This is the first playground built through NextGen NYCHA Plays, a partnership between NYCHA, the Fund for Public Housing, and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to play. The partnership plans to build many more playgrounds at NYCHA developments through the initiative. What makes the KaBOOM! experience so special is community involvement in the design and build process from the beginning.
At the end of the playground build, NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye thanked the volunteers and partners for making the playground a reality. She said to residents: “Go back and talk to your friends, your community, your cousins who live in the Bronx and Queens, and tell them about something good that happened here today. Ask them to work to bring it to their communities, because we need them to ask for it, we need them to talk to their local elected officials, we need them to talk to their fellow residents to say, ‘We want this in our community as well.’”