Cleveland community members build a playground in one day

More than 200 volunteers pitched in
Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 29, 2016

Pull out the drill...dig up that dirt.

“Oh we’re moving mulch, yeah, we’re doing everything but welding basically,” said Thomas Russ, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley for the Northern Ohio region.

More than 200 volunteers exploded onto Griot Village in the Fairfax neighborhood, putting their hands to good use.

“The energy is just off the chain, it’s awesome.” That’s Denise VanLeer, Executive Director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation.

She continued, “It’s like leggos, they were just putting the pieces together. I understand now why they call it, Kaboom, because it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of work.”

Kaboom, the group responsible for bringing the project to the community, helps residents build the playground of the kids’ dreams.

“The kids had a hand in it. And it’s like okay, what do dream, what do you want it to look like, you know so they got to pick,” said VanLeer.

The idea is a first for this neighborhood, where the old school and the new live as one.

"It’s the first development of its kind in the state of Ohio for adults 55 and older with legal custody of minor children,” VanLeer said.

Like Metra Moses, a resident at Griot Village, who is raising her two grandchildren.

“It’s a big difference between raising grands and your children. You gotta still have that grandmother love but then you gotta be a little hard.”

She said understanding the younger generation can be a challenge at times, but remembering her days on the playground helps bridge the gap of the two generations.

Brand new to the neighborhood, she also tells me being surrounded with others like her, makes her feel right at home.

“I feel the love and the joy, it’s just a joy to be here,” Moses said.

Organizers tell me, that's the whole idea.

“Together you can do anything, so collaboration is key.”

They celebrated with the ribbon cutting at 2 p.m., putting the entire playground and green space up in just six hours.