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By Tammye McDuff
John S. Simms Park was teaming with employees and volunteers from Jet Blue Airways, KaBOOM!, Bellflower Parks and Recreation Department, Bellflower City Council and community volunteers Thursday, July 16, 2015. The morning began at 6:30 am as Mayor and Council Members began flipping flap jacks and sausage, serving up a hearty breakfast for those who had come to raise a play park in one day.
Mayor Scott Larsen said, “We have opened up a number of parks in the city, from walkways, bike trails or just a neighborhood half acres for residents to relax, unwind and play,” Larsen continued,” we are proud to be the fourth park built in California and the 22nd KaBOOM! built in the country.” Volunteers transformed 48,600 square feet of space into an interactive play place by hand.
Simms Park is the 2,642nd organized KaBOOM! built playground since 1996. Dedicated to the bold goal of giving all kids the childhood they deserve, KaBOOM! believes that a childhood filled with balanced and active play, helps to shape healthy, thriving adults because #playmatters.
Currently, many of the children served by the City of Bellflower do not have updated, safe and accessible play spaces. This new playground will replace old play structures and give the children the balanced and active play they need to thrive. The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in April. New sandboxes, swings, slides and gym structures were accented by painted sidewalks, with hop scotch, tic-tac-toe, twister and and an interactive gadget wall.
Larsen thanked everyone for all the hard work and dedication over the past ten weeks stating, “If it wasn’t for you, the volunteers, this would never have been completed. So from the community, the City Council, and our Parks and Recreation Department, we offer our heartfelt thank you for getting this park together in one day.”
KaBOOM! considers a playground more than just a playground, it is a brain-expander, friend-maker, and source of exercise. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. changing a sedentary, bored and solitary child into a physically, mentally and socially active kid.
The City of Bellflower strives “to protect and enrich the quality of life, to make Bellflower an excellent place to live, work and play.” As the 25th largest city in the Los Angeles County, Bellflower has become a city of 79,000 residents with an innovative approach to enhancing services and generating revenues to support the growing community.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids a childhood they deserve. Collaborating with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play.
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