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KaBOOM! and Community Build Dream Playground in JAX

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KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization, is teaming with health insurance company Humana to build a multi-generational dream playground Oct. 19 in Jacksonville for children who need it most. 
 

According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980. At that rate, more than 86 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by 2030. KaBOOM! project manager Lauren Allen is trying to change that.
 
Allen said children need to play actively every day; at home, in schools and in their community. She said Jacksonville’s new playground will be the 2,377th KaBOOM!-lead build.
 
“We’ve been working to ensure there’s a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America,” said Allen.
 
Tracie Fahy, Humana North Floridav vice president, said it’s not only important that children have access to safe playgrounds, but that they actively choose healthy activities.
 
“This playground is a way to make being healthy fun,” Fahy said.

The playground will be built Saturday, Oct. 19 at 887 Franklin St. Volunteers can come directly to the build site to sign up.

Allen said community participation in building playgrounds provides a sense of ownership.
 
“People are more likely to take care of it,” Allen said. “We’ve seen much less graffiti and vandalism on playgrounds built through this model.”
 
Oakland Terrace Apartments was built 40 years ago by another non-profit group to provide affordable housing for families that can’t afford market-rate housing.
 
Shannon Nazworth, Executive Director of Ability Housing, said she became involved when physical conditions of the complex began deteriorating.
 
“One of the most important aspects for us is the quality of life for the kids who are living there,” Nezworth said.
 
Allen describes the playground as a multi-generational space, which offers many activities for kids and a fitness station for adults.
 
She said the 2,500 square foot playground is covered with soft, wood-fiber surfacing that helps prevent injuries if kids fall.
 
For more information, visit KaBOOM.org.