Kensington Playground Halloween Party and Update

by Susan Klein, Friends of Kensington Playground

On Sunday afternoon, October 31, Friends of Kensington Playground (FOKP) hosted a hugely successful Halloween Party. For three hours, while the park was filled with happy children and families playing games, decorating pumpkins, eating and talking and laughing, the playground’s potential became a reality. This is what that space can always mean to the neighborhood, and it’s wonderful that people came out to make it so.

We thank Chapel West, Greater Dwight Development Corporation, Brick Oven Pizza, El Coqui, MaMa Mary’s, Stop & Shop, Triple AAA Pizza, and individuals for their co-sponsorship.  Thanks also to the Parks Department, Health Department, and Youth Services Department of the City for their help with permits and advice on COVID safety.

Games were set up on the grassy area along the fence; costumed kids of all sizes tossed rings over pumpkins, threw bean bags at orange balloons, spun hula hoops, and decorated 50 pumpkins. It was heartwarming to see the playground used as intended. Kids ran around in the sunshine while parents snapped photos or sat on park benches and chairs in the shade of KP’s 25 tall trees. The neighborhood was alive and connected and having a great time outdoors, the same as in other parks the city maintains and improves. The vibe was similar to that at Goffe Street Park’s new splashpad ribbon-cutting two weeks before, just as joyful and well-attended.

Besides holding bicycle, clothing and school supplies giveaways in KP, FOKP has obtained written approval from eight Community Management Teams for a resolution to present to city officials, mandating at least one playground per neighborhood with playscape, splashpad, and tall trees.

Our ongoing lawsuit over lack of due process in the decision to develop KP has led to a change in the developer’s plans, enabling renovation of their existing properties to proceed independently. We remain hopeful that our efforts will result in the city reclaiming/saving this valuable and irreplaceable neighborhood greenspace. Please visit our website at www.kensingtonplayground.org to get involved, sign our petition, and donate toward our lawsuit to save Kensington Playground.

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