Volunteers Build Unique Playground At Chadakoin Park

Volunteers begin the day of work at the new playground in Chadokoin Park. Photo by Daryl Simons Jr.

The three-year effort to construct a new playground at Chadokoin Park concluded Saturday with the help of numerous volunteers and various organizations. This endeavor was a collaborative project between the city of Jamestown, The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. foundation, and KaBoom.

Mary Wilson, wife of the late Ralph Wilson Jr. of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. foundation, lifetime trustee of the foundation, shared some words at this event.

“This is just some beautiful country here. I come from Buffalo, and it is so beautiful here. I know Ralph used to have his training camp here in Fredonia, and I know he enjoyed this area. He used to exercise quite a bit in this place. This is just a perfect for us to start up this initiative knowing Ralph’s ties to the area … The foundation is just so happy to have built this program as it truly brings the community together.”

KaBoom and various volunteers provided breakfast and lunch to all those who volunteered to work today. The volunteers were divided randomly according to an ambiguous logo on their nametags. The teams were led by the various KaBoom team members, all of which were masters in various areas of expertise, whether that be in carpentry, concrete, music and sound, equipment setup, etc.

Jacob Stachler, the Senior Project Manager with KaBoom, spoke about KaBoom’s involvement with this project and how this playground is truly unique due to it being based on submitted designs by local children.

Volunteers helping spread out mulch at the playground. Photo by Daryl Simons Jr.

“The kids all drew their dream playground, what they all wanted to see in their ideal play-space. We worked from those drawings to design this playground. This playground you won’t find anywhere else, not anywhere in New York state or throughout the rest of the country. This is a 100 percent unique playground created by the kids of this community, for the kids of this community.”

Due to this being an active construction site, various games and activities were planned for any kids in attendance, such as music, some basketball games, and art activities. The games were not simply relegated to the children however. Stachler instructed all of the volunteers to engage in a game of rock-paper-scissors to act as a team-building breaker prior to the long day of work ahead.

Vickye James, Ward III councilwoman shared a few words on the fruition of this project and how it finally came together.

“We have been working on this project for 4 years. We didn’t know how we were going to do it . . . between all of the help the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. foundation has provided, the entire Kaboom team, everyone here helping today, and the city has truly been behind this project.”

Stachler concluded by describing the general demeanor at this momentous occasion. “We are really excited to be bringing this project together and create a great play space all in one day. This playground is going to serve so many kids in the community. And we are really thrilled to have you all here to be helping us in that mission.”

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