Seesaws, slides and sandboxes, Flint kids help design new playground

Flint kids draw their desired playgrounds

Seven-year-old Kaylee Ware woke up excited on Monday morning. On a normal summer day, there could have been several reasons for that. But, instead of riding on a merry-go-round, jumping on a trampoline or playing on a teeter-totter, she was designing all of those things.

Ware was one of about a dozen young kids at Flint's Berston Field House who helped dream up their perfect playground on Monday, using crayons to put their imaginations to work. It's the first step in the process of building a brand new playground at the historic Berston site.

"She reminded me about 7:30 this morning that she had this appointment today at 4 o'clock at Berston," Kaylee's mother Tamala Ware, who's four-year-old Malia was also part of the design team, said. "She's very excited to have a swingset in the area, a playground in the area, because there's nothing like that here."

Thanks to the donations from the Make an Impact Foundation and most recently the United Way growing the budget to more than $100,000, the playground non-profit KaBoom! has come to Flint to build a brand new playground at Berston, replacing the rusty, old play area currently in place.

After the kids finished their submissions on Monday, the parents and other members of the community gathered at Berston to discuss the proposed plan for the new playground. And the kids weren't just drawing to stay busy, their ideas are part of the design process as well.

Remarkably, it will be built in a day, in less than eight hours. But, that "Build Day" on September 16th won't happen unless the community rallies together.

"The hardest part may be getting everyone connected," Eilah Brown, a KaBoom! project manager, says. "But, once we get everyone connected it explodes and everyone's ready to get to work and move forward."

Because of the community build philosophy, the playground will hold meaning for not only the kids, but give the people a sense of ownership in improving their neighborhood.

Over the next few weeks, they final design will be chosen, culminating in Make an Impact Week in September, the highlight being the brand new playground. A playground that Flint's youngest like the Wares will not only enjoy by playing on it, but can say they helped build too.

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