Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded five recipients, including Ormewood Park Playground, a $15,000 Let’s Play Video Contest Grant following a national voting competition.

In March, Ormewood Park Playground submitted a compelling video about its playground project and was selected as one of 10 finalists to advance to the national voting competition between April 9-26. By finishing in the top five, Ormewood Park Playground was awarded the $15,000 grant.

“I’m excited to see our community come together to build an awesome play space,” said Cindy Cahalen, Director of The Ormewood School. “Now that we’ve secured the grant, it’s really time for us to get to work. We are reaching out to neighbors and businesses, too. We really need community folks on board and signing up to volunteer.”

The Ormewood School and Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church plan to build the new playground on the church grounds. Their goal is to create a play space where neighborhood children can enjoy unstructured play while parents can meet and mingle at the same time. The school will also use the playground as an outdoor classroom space for learning and creating art. Structural plans will incorporate universal design so that children of all ages and abilities can play in the same space.

Several neighborhood parents have already taken on volunteer roles to ensure project deadlines are met. Angela Easter, whose children attend The Ormewood School, says the work is a labor of love.

“Since the day the grant recipients were announced, my son has been asking when the playground will be ready,” she said. “He and the other neighborhood kids are so excited. We have to get right to work.”

The project’s steering committee held a public meeting in April to outline the KaBOOM! community-build model, garner neighborhood input, and secure team volunteers to complete project tasks. Next steps include design development and selection of a vendor for construction. A fundraising team is also in place to secure the remainder of the funds needed to complete the build. Those wishing to volunteer or provide donations can visit the project website, ourdreamplayground.kaboom.org/OrmewoodPark, where progress is being tracked.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.