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Park designed by children opens in Hartford

HARTFORD - A park designed by kids, for kids.

Over 200 volunteers from the Travelers and Riverfront Recapture teamed up with the National non-profit KaBOOM! to build a dream park for Hartford children.

Back in January, local kids drew what they would want in a playground. Now their vision is coming to life. Park designers took their suggestions to heart turning this empty space in Charter Oak Landing into a fun, safe and engaging environment.

“Our hope is that this new play space will make sure that the kids who play here for generations to come get the balance and active play they need to thrive,” said Katrina Bitanga of KaBoom!.

This is the ninth project KaBOOM! has completed in conjunction with Travelers.

“We believe in investing stability and vitality of neighborhoods so having a great destination for families to come and have a safe place to play is really important,” said Erin Haberman of Travelers.

Many of the children’s designs were inspired by the American Ninja Warrior show. The playground features many climbing obstacles to go along with your traditional shoots and ladders.

“I think different things like this are great,” said Vinnie Grillo. “You get to the office which is cool. But we’re here helping the community which is even better. And you know you are doing something positive.”

Volunteers were excited to come out and get their hands dirty to put this park together. Some look forward to bringing their own children here.

“I have two young kids and I’m thrilled to be able to say to them that at my job we built a playground for you,” said Maureen Bowman. “I can’t wait to bring them down here to get to see Hartford and to get to play on the playground that we built.”

“I told my daughter this morning I was going to build a play scape,” said Nereissa Smith. “When she was younger she was always on the play scape so the fact that we can be at work and do this is awesome.”

This playscape is just one of the many projects the Riverfront Recapture group plans on doing to bring residents closer to the waterfront. They are in works to expand the Riverfront Walk to surrounding towns.

Michael zaleski - president and ceo of riverfront recapture

“By the time we’re done we’re going to have more than a dozen miles of interconnected riverfront system that will ultimately give people another opportunity to get to the outdoor parks, exercise, cycle, etc.,” said Michael Zaleski - President and CEO of Riverfront Recapture

This state-of-the-art play space took under six hours to build. It’s now open to the public.

Google Map for coordinates 41.754623 by -72.658564.

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