2013-08-30 / Community

Broad Channel Builds A Playground

By Dan Guarino


Two hundred and twenty volunteers and 60 kids turned out to paint bleachers, repave walks, plant new greenery and build a grand playground at the Broad Channel Athletic Field. The playground was donated by JetBlue and KaBoom. Photos by Kim Trischler, Diane Ferchland and Dan Guarino and also courtesy of JetBlue and KaBoom. Two hundred and twenty volunteers and 60 kids turned out to paint bleachers, repave walks, plant new greenery and build a grand playground at the Broad Channel Athletic Field. The playground was donated by JetBlue and KaBoom. Photos by Kim Trischler, Diane Ferchland and Dan Guarino and also courtesy of JetBlue and KaBoom. If you need it built, they will come.

Two hundred and twenty adult volunteers and more than 60 children came out to build a brand new playground on the grounds of the Broad Channel Athletic Club’s Memorial Field on Saturday, August 17th.

The playground was donated by JetBlue and KaBoom and marks the 18th one built in partnership between these two companies.

Billed as “designed by kids; built by volunteers,” the project also included clearing ground, setting down new paving stones, painting bleachers, putting down cedar chips and planting new greenery. Afterwards, a JetBlue spokesman said, “The volunteers from Broad Channel and JetBlue were so enthusiastic and hard-working that we actually finished the build about 30 minutes early!”


Kids enjoy the finished project. Kids enjoy the finished project. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in June of this year.

The project involved two days of preparation and one day for the build and generated a great deal of support from the close-knit island community.

Since Hurricane Sandy, JetBlue has coordinated several efforts to provide assistance to its neighbors and help rebuild communities in the tri-state area.

The Broad Channel Athletic Club serves more than 900 children every year.

An estimated 95% percent of those children lost their homes due to Hurricane Sandy, while the Club itself lost virtually everything.

A media release from JetBlue, KaBoom and the BCAC noted, “In the aftermath of natural disasters, play becomes even more critical as it creates a sense of normalcy and provides an emotional outlet for children.


Before and After Before and After Children living in the Broad Channel area have had few opportunities to play and limited recreational space since Hurricane Sandy.”

The non-profit Broad Channel Athletic Club (BCAC), which fields all types of sports, has served the families of island neighborhood and the surrounding communities since 1964.

One recently returning resident commented, “What they did here is phenomenal. Give these people half a day and they could rebuild the boardwalk!

“They’ve made Broad Channel an even better place.”



Broad Channel community volunteers arrive early for the playground build. Broad Channel community volunteers arrive early for the playground build.



Ready for the big ribbon cutting with kids, volunteers, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder’s chief of staff, Angelica Katz. Ready for the big ribbon cutting with kids, volunteers, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder’s chief of staff, Angelica Katz.

Youth involvement team kept watch over the little ones while Kindermusic entertained. Youth involvement team kept watch over the little ones while Kindermusic entertained.

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