Herald American Local News

New playground installed at Bellflower park

BELLFLOWER — At 8 a.m. July 16 it was just an open space in Simms Park, 16612 Clark Ave. By 2 p.m., it was a children’s playground.

The playground was installed by some 200 volunteers, headed by KaBOOM, a nonprofit organization that has built playgrounds in Pico Rivera and Whittier. Jet Blue Airlines was co-sponsor for the project.

Cindy VanMeeveren, director of the volunteer center based in Simms Park, said more than 100 of the volunteers were local residents from her organization. Other workers were volunteers from the area and representatives of KaBOOM and Jet Blue.

Cory Gagnon of Jet Blue said a major effort was to spread piles of sawdust over the ground as a soft base for the playground. Volunteers shoveled the sawdust onto large canvases that were carried to the playground site and dumped. Other volunteers assembled the playground equipment, for which holes were dug.

Several volunteers, including April Rojas, Monica Munoz and Gwen Boitnott, assembled colorful pieces of clay to form letters which will be used for slogans to be posted around the park.

Bellflower Parks and Recreation Director P.J. Mellana said some of the playground equipment was designed based on suggestions by a group of children who submitted designs earlier in the year.

Bellflower Recreation In Motion, a city-owned motor home with games and crafts materials operated by the recreation department, was on hand to provide activities for children while the adults worked.