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In a few hours this bare ground became a playground!

Setting up some of the playground equipment

Hard at work painting one of the basketball hoop poles

Carrying one of the newly built benches to a spot near the playground

Councilman Igliozzi (& sons), Lisa Aurecchia, Mayor Cicilline, and Staples' president of North American delivery, Joe Doody cutting the ribbon for the new playground!

Merino Park Playground Build

Merino Park has been the site of my Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council projects over the years. In May of 2008 it became the site of one of the largest one-day projects in our history! Fortunately, we had some great partners to work with, including the national non-profit KaBOOM!, Staples, the Providence Parks Department, The Providence Housing Authority and numerous community volunteers who together helped transform Merino Park in just one day! On that one day, Wednesday May 21, there were 359 volunteers in the park and here is some of what we accomplished:

  • Built a new 5000 square foot playground
  • Built 20 new benches for the park
  • Painted and installed ten new exercise signs
  • Adding a new trail to the park from Flower St., off Hartford Ave., which will make it much easier for neighborhood residents to walk to the park.
  • Spread 265 cubic yards of mulch
  • Installed 840 liner feet of new fencing along the highway
  • Painted and installed five new trash cans
  • Painted four new games painted on pathway
  • Repainted the lines and backstops on the basketball court
  • Painted and installed two new Merino Parks Signs
  • Built a new community bulletin board and bike path/greenway map
  • Pulled 54 tires out of the river
  • Collected 40 cubic yards of garbage (that's a full dumpster)

The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council would like to extend our thanks to:

  • Staples who provided tons of volunteers and $53,000 to make this possible
  • Councilman Igliozzi who expeditiously came up with his donation to make it possible for us to move forward with the original application for this project
  • The KaBOOM! team who were the master coordinators
  • The Providence Housing Authority Staff and children
  • Special thanks to the Providence Housing Hartford Park Maintenance staff that went the distance for us installing signs, trail clearing, cleaning -- you name it
  • The Providence Parks Department and Providence Department of Public Works
  • And last but not least, thanks to the many others groups and volunteers that came to help out, including Bank of America, the US Attorneys Office, the Institute for Peace and Non Violence, Perry Middle School, Providence Head Start, and local community members!

Thanks as well to the folks who made in-kind donations for this amazing event:

  • Cozy Caterer's
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Home Depot
  • NY Systems
  • Price Rite
  • Terrell Osborne "Music One" DJ
  • Trinity Repertory Theater
  • Wes's Rib House

The volunteers who built the playground!

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