Post by Kim Doren of the Land of Nod’s Design Services Team
At Nod, we continue to partner with a youth center in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. This outreach program is responsible for providing a safe place for hundreds of kids to learn, play and have a proper meal. A group of Land of Nod employees spent the last several months finishing our latest project for our Englewood family – a playground revamp!
Before the revamp, the playground was a run down parking lot, with cracked asphalt, broken basketball hoops and an old, slightly unsafe, plastic playground. Our team worked to organize the resurfacing of the asphalt, installed a playground for the younger kids and created a basketball court for the older kids.
We painted an obstacle course on the asphalt, a mural on the fence, and added a couple container gardens to house flowers and vegetables. Last, but not least, we installed a water fountain that both the kids and the staff love having during the hot summer months.
When we arrived for the dedication ceremony on June 30th, the court was flooded with kids, and it was inspiring to see them enjoying and using their new play space.
Michelle Kohanzo, The Land of Nod’s managing director, shared her feelings on the dedication day:
“I was struck by so many familiar faces, so many young adults who have grown up through the community and are now group leaders, so many friends made and children enveloped in care and love. We all love helping to make a difference. We are showing these kids that they can be anything, that life is beautiful, and there is a whole world outside of the poverty and violence that they are exposed to every day. They deserve this and we are privileged to be a part of their community.”