The kids designed it, volunteers built it, and now local children have a great place to play when they visit the Smyrna-Clayton Boys & Girls Club.

The kids designed it, volunteers built it, and now local children have a great place to play when they visit the Smyrna-Clayton Boys & Girls Club.

The construction of a new playground was made possible by a partnership between Kraft Foods Foundation, who provided the major funding, and KaBOOM!, a non-profit company that builds play spaces in communities without adequate facilities.

In August, children at the club worked with KaBOOM! to create drawings that served as the inspiration for the design of a new playground.

And on Saturday, Oct. 9, an army of volunteers came together to make that vision a reality.
Volunteers from Kraft Foods in Dover and from throughout the Smyrna-Clayton community teamed up with KaBOOM! organizers to build the playground, along with an outdoor classroom and two gardens.

They labored all morning and into the afternoon, but at the end of the day, the work was complete.

The playground also received funding from the Town of Smyrna, as well as the support of local businesses, organizations and individuals.

“I really like how all the community came together – so many people contributed,” said Smyrna-Clayton Boys & Girls Club director Trisha Moses.

The kids couldn’t wait to see the new playground, and watched the construction from a distance, trying to get a glimpse of it, she said.

Moses said the children who live in the area won’t need to ride their bikes across Rt. 13 to get to the Smyrna Municipal Park for playground equipment.

“Now they can just come over here in the evening,” she said.

The new playground replaced a smaller Little Tykes preschool playground that was designed for younger children only.

Saturday’s effort attracted the attention of elected officials from the local, state and national levels.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper visited the club during the playground construction, and State Sen. Nancy Cook was on hand to thank all the volunteers at the ribbon cutting.

Smyrna Mayor Pat Stombaugh helped create the new gardens at the club, and spoke to the crowd of volunteers once the project was complete. Stombaugh previously worked on another KaBOOM! project during a conference in New Orleans.

Smyrna School District Superintendent Debbbie Wicks, who is also president of the board for the local Boys & Girls Club, helped transport mulch during the construction.

“This is a great club and we’re going places,” Wicks said. “This is just the beginning.”

“We’re really excited about the work KaBOOM! does,” said George Krupanski, president for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware. “It’s a great concept, it’s a great idea, and it really brings a community together.”

Allie Farrington, project manager for KaBOOM!, said this was the company’s 1,882nd playground in 14 years, but added that each individual playground is unique.

“Today was a test of community, and they passed with flying colors,” she said.