Dome Playground Clean-Up: A Success and a Real Good Time

In the Press

Dome Playground Clean-Up: A Success and a Real Good Time

The Kensington Prospect
08/08/2011

Threats of a thunderstorm did not keep the more than 30 volunteers away from the Sunday, August 7 activities at Dome Playground’s “Clean It, Paint It, Fix It!” afternoon. The first official event sponsored by Friends of Dome Playground (friendsofdomepark [at] gmail [dot] com), a good cross-section of neighbors and users, both kids and adults, showed up to scrape and paint the handball court’s walls a lovely cement gray, and rake the cigarette butts off the lawn.

Yolanda Delgado and Talisha Centeno, in white tank tops above, the rulers of the handball court, put out the word and their posse delivered (and made this video, “38th parks community clean up“).  Along with help from Keith of NYC Parks, they directed the show. A water balloon fight topped off the day.

Whole families came: dads and kids, ages 9 to 32, were out there scraping away and covering themselves in paint. By the end, the sun had burned off the clouds, and a mother was reassuring her paint-spattered kids the paint would wash off their clothes. Maria Bello, 9 years old, said, “This was fun. When are we going to do it again?”

Councilman Brad Lander showed up early with his daughter, Rosa. He raked, and she filled balloons with water. Gabriela Friedlander, his Boro Park liaison, rocked her child and spoke with the neighbors. Community Board 12 member Annie Ferdous spent a couple hours raking the lawn.

Walgreens sent along its Church Ave store manager, Mohammed Shoman, and two staff members, who hung out for the afternoon as people grabbed for the bottled water and bags of potato chips, tote bags, and first aid kits they brought. One Walgreens employee, Justin Delgado, remembered playing at Dome as a kid and couldn’t get over the difference. McDonald Fruit Corner donated 8 watermelons, and Spectrum Printing ran off posters and flyers.

Veronica Guzman, community activist extraordinaire, arranged for all the food donations and lugged them down to Dome in her shopping cart with help from her husband, Stephen, and me.

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