By Jennifer Conn, Akron reporter, cleveland.com [email protected]
AKRON, Ohio – About 200 volunteers from across Summit County came together on Saturday, June 23, to build a new playground in Kenmore's Prentiss Park in about six hours.
A project of United Way of Summit County and the city of Akron, the work was led by representatives from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that works to ensure kids have access to active play, especially in lower-income neighborhoods.
Kenmore is one of 10 neighborhoods the city identified in its Great Streets Akron initiative, which is designed to bring vibrancy back to the neighborhoods through various improvements.
The new park was designed and built based on the work of Kenmore kids who in April were asked to draw pictures of their dream playground. The completed play space will serve about 300 children.
"Play is such an important part of a healthy childhood," said Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance Director Tina Boyes in an email. "As a kid growing up in Kenmore, I always remember having safe, kid-friendly play opportunities all over the neighborhood. This was a great opportunity for neighbors and kids to come together to design the play area they wanted, and we appreciate the city, the United Way, and the many Kenmore-based organizations that came together to make this happen."
The park supports KNA's efforts to offer residents more family-friendly amenities, and protected bike lanes on Kenmore Boulevard are in the works, Boyes said.
To pay for the park, the city chipped in about $31,500 and United Way paid about $85,000. While it's the first park the city and United Way have partnered to build, Prentiss Park is the city's fourth build with KaBOOM!
The new park also aligns with United Way's Bold Goals by encourage residents to work together for the betterment of the community and other residents, according to the organization. Prentiss Park is at 1135 Battles Ave. in Kenmore.