Nonprofits build new playgrounds for Coastal Bend kids

Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 19:58:01-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A brand-new playground was built from the ground up in just six hours this weekend in Taft, and it's all to help area kids.

You've heard the saying ‘work hard, play hard’.

This weekend residents in Taft strapped on their working boots, so kids in the area could have a new, state-of-the-art playground.

“We had about 100 people to help build the playground,” said Leah Shrestinian with Kaboom, a national nonprofit dedicated to encouraging active play in kids.

The new play space was designed by the very kids who will get to play on it.

“They told us what kind of slides they like and what kind of swings they want,” said Shrestinian.

And the Kaboom, in partnership with the Rebuild Texas Fund and the City of Taft, built the masterpiece.

Shrestinian says they created the project to provide a place for kids who were affected by Hurricane Harvey, so they'll have a place where they can get back to the business of being a kid.

“Play is part of the healing process after the hurricane and it’s often overlooked, but these kids’ lives were really affected,” said Shrestinian. “Play is something that helps children stay healthy make friendships and get out of the house.”

The playground project is one of many led by the Rebuild Texas Fund and Kaboom.

This weekend, a similar park was built just 20 minutes away in Ingleside.

Overall, the partnership will lead 27 community-designed play space projects across 41 counties in southeast Texas, providing new opportunities to play for more than 145,000 kids over the next generation.

“We usually have about 200 people on our build and we didn't have that number in Taft because it’s a bit of a smaller town, but the folks who came out were some of the hardest working volunteers who I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” said Shrestinian. “You could just see how much they cared about the kids who were going to use this play space.”

Officials say they were waiting three days for the cement around the park to set, and new playground opened Tuesday.