Children in Bayside have a new playground to enjoy thanks to a huge team of local volunteers and sponsors.
Volunteers from Samuel Field Y and Disney Citizenship joined organizers from KaBOOM! — a national nonprofit dedicated to providing children with safe spaces to play — to construct a brand-new playground at the Bay Terrace Samuel Field Y on Friday, Sept. 23.
“It’s really been a collaborative effort,” said Michelle Ragoo, volunteer at the build and after-school program director at P.S. 115. “Everyone decided to work collaboratively and work on a different area in different shifts to make this happen.”
Ragoo has been a part of the Samuel Field Y for 10 years, starting as a volunteer at the age of 16. Her job at the playground construction site was building and putting up panels to serve as the playground’s walls.
“[The playground] is gonna bring a lot of joy for many, many years to come” she continued. “It’s definitely a milestone for everyone here in the Bay Terrace community, especially all of the children that are a part of the preschool here.”
Melissa Algranati, volunteer and seasonal employee at the Y, echoed Ragoo’s sentiments. She pointed out that local children were kept in mind every step of the way, even when coming up with playground schematics. KaBOOM! used local children’s drawings from a special Design Day in July as inspiration for the build.
“They dreamed it last summer and now they can come and see it,” Algranati said. “A week from now the kids will be playing in it and saying, ‘Wow, the adults really put their money where their mouth is.'”
The playground is constructed for children aged 2 to 12 and is inclusive of children from all walks of life.
At lunch hour, volunteers from The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Queens were on hand to donate food to hundreds of hungry playground builders.
“We love to give back to the community,” said Jake Walden, vice president of business development at The Grand Healthcare System. “[The Samuel Field Y] was looking for sponsors for lunch and we took the opportunity to bring pizza and make a huge barbecue.”
The Samuel Field Y of Bay Terrace is located at 212-00 23rd Ave.