Sunday, September 16, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Volunteers on Sept. 14, before they built a new play space at Winfield Scott Park in Maywood in less than a day. | Courtesy Christopher Parker/Facebook
Maywood young people now have a brand new space in which to play after several dozen volunteers pitched in on Sept. 14 to build a new playground area at Winfield Scott Park, at 1800 S. Maywood Drive in Maywood, within roughly six hours.
The project was the result of a collaboration between the Maywood Park District, the village of Maywood and KaBOOM, a national nonprofit “dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids,” according its website.
KaBOOM! paid for the equipment through a partnership with Keurig Dr. Pepper. The village of Maywood Board of Trustees and the park district entered into an intergovernmental agreement in May.
At the time, Lonette Hall, the park district executive director, said that the park district needed the village’s permission to allow the equipment to be installed in order to finalize the grant.
Winfield Scott Park is currently one of six parks in Maywood owned and maintained by the village. The park district and the village, however, are in the process of transferring six parks that the latter currently owns and operates over to the former taxing body — a transaction required by a referendum that passed over a decade ago.
The new Kaboom playground space at Winfield Scott Park just moments after it was completed on Sept. 14. | VFP
While the KaBOOM equipment is installed, however, Winfield Scott will still be under village control. The village is also liable for any injuries or other incidents that may happen within the new playground space.
During the Sept. 14 build, community leaders like state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Bellwood Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Parker were on hand to help transform a long-blighted park into space suitable for children’s recreational needs.
Maywood Park District Commissioner Terrance Jones said that the intergovernmental collaboration was necessary in order to refresh the park.
“We wanted to make a difference in the park,” Jones said. “We knew we needed help over here at Winfield Scott, so we partnered with Keurig and Kaboom! We started today and we’re going to finish today.”
“We’re glad to be here,” said Parker. “Proviso Community bank is one of the sponsors today. We believe in community. We’re ready to get down and dirty to make this thing happen.”
Back in May, Hall said that KaBOOM required community leaders to gather input on how residents wanted the park to look and the kind of equipment that would be installed.
Dawn Rone, the Maywood Park District Commission president, said in May that park district officials met with representatives from other taxing bodies, such as Districts 89 and 209, in order to generate stakeholder interest and gather public input.
“This is an exciting day,” said James Siegal, the CEO of Kaboom. “We are going to show what’s possible when a couple hundred people from all walks of life come together to put kids first.”
Siegal said that the Maywood park was the 100th park that Kaboom has built alongside Keurig Dr. Pepper.
In addition to the new equipment, the village board voted unanimously in May in favor of the installation of a power box necessary to restore lighting at Winfield Scott. VFP
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