Duquesne Residents Say Playground Makeover Is Positive Step For Community
DUQUESNE (KDKA) — A national organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children did something special in Duquesne today. They put up a playground in a just a day.
The playground at the corner of Hamilton and North Third Streets in Duquesne has not seen any improvements in 30 years.
But, on Saturday, that all changed thanks to an organization called Kaboom.
“Kaboom is a national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing them great places to play,” said Laurel Laidlaw, the project manager.
A total of 150 volunteers started early in the morning installing new swings, slides, climbers and a new fire truck on a 3,000-square foot lot. Everything will be ready for use on Tuesday.
Volunteers like Nicole Nesby admit that Duquesne has had more than its share of negative publicity, but she thinks this is positive.
“Yes, we do have some violence going on in the community; however, we are coming together as one,” said Nesby.
The playground is being built through a partnership between Kaboom, the Heinz Endowment, the City of Duquesne and the Boys and Girls Club.
But the children who will play there had the final say.
“We matched every playground piece that you see on the playground today to their drawings, so this playground is custom designed by the kids in the community,” said Laidlaw.
Kaboom has built 2,300 playgrounds around the country. This is the eighth in the Pittsburgh area.
Duquesne parents also played a major role soliciting money in the community to help get the job done.
Pat Bluett, of the Boys and Girls Club, thinks it’s a new beginning for a city trying to revive itself.
“We watched buildings being torn down. We don’t see anything coming into our community,” said Bluett. This is the first effort where everyone is doing it together to rebuild our community, so we’re building up Duquesne.”