Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Friday, September 1

New Parks Uplift Community

Rebuilding community gathering places destroyed one year ago is the goal of several organizations in South Mississippi. Ten park-dedication ceremonies will be held this week as part of that process.

Tuesday's events included a groundbreaking for Fort Maurepas Park in Ocean Springs and the dedication of Seventh Street Park in Bay St. Louis. But the biggest bang is being made by KaBOOM! with eight parks being built in four days.

KaBOOM! parks were built on Monday at Second Street Elementary in Bay St. Louis and on Tuesday at John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi, Pass Christian High School's football field and Owen T. Palmer Park in Gulfport.

Parks will be built today at Central Elementary in Pascagoula and Carol Vegas in Bay St. Louis and on Thursday at Miramar Park in Biloxi and Hancock Medical Center in Bay St. Louis.
Hundreds of volunteers are expected to participate in each build, with up to 500 signed up for the two biggest projects at John Henry Beck and Miramar parks.

The projects are part of Operation Playground, KaBOOM!'s two-year initiative to build 100 playgrounds in areas affected by Katrina and Rita. To commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this week 10 parks are being built, eight in Mississippi, with the assistance of Home Depot, Playworld Systems and Hands On.

Operation Playground director Sara Rose Pinsky said the parks are important to give children a safe place to run and jump, express their emotions and just have fun. But Pinsky said adults need parks as well, to serve as community gathering places.

"We are not just building places to play, we are helping rebuild a sense of community," said Pinsky.

KaBOOM! plans to build an additional 10 parks by the end of the year.

AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers Steven Humphreys of Oakland, N.J., left, and Emily Margaret Uhar of Washington, D.C., and Hands On volunteer Mark Maund of Tempe, Ariz., center, work Tuesday on the KaBOOM! playground at John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi. Volunteers Melissa Norel, left, Pfc. Gregory Brown, Verdell Hawkins and Joi Olive help paint a bench Tuesday at Owen T. Palmer Park on Second Street in Gulfport.



Post a Comment

<< Home