The Playground is a collaborative project between the congregation and the community. It was originally built many decades ago and, while still attracting UUCC members, students from the IMPACT program, and neighborhood kids, it had areas of rotting wood, protruding nails, and other signs of needing repair. In 2018, a group of neighborhood kids wrote to the Congregational Board stating that they loved playing in the congregation’s playground, but it was unsafe and they wanted to help fix it. With the support of their parents, they also offered to raise money for the repairs.
Playgrounds are a great way to bring people together, build social connections, and be active outside. The UUCC and its neighbors created a committee to explore what it takes to make a good neighborhood playground for people of all ages. Over a period of 2 years, meetings were held to create a shared vision and develop a plan. The plan included demolishing an unsafe structure, repairing damaged or worn structures, fresh paint, new mulch, building two benches, two picnic tables, and a seesaw, and a plan for ongoing maintenance.
On June 30th, 2019, UUCC hosted a Common Ground discussion in partnership with The Cleveland Foundation to talk about community connections, including the playground. IOBY funding was set up to accept donations.
Kids were key workers in every step of this project. In 2021, this congregation/neighborhood partnership continues to maintain and improve the playground and make it a fun and safe place for our community to enjoy.