KaBoom: Diamondhead playground brought back to life

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - The children of Diamondhead will soon enjoy a modernized playground with several new features thanks to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the KaBoom organization.

Many coast residents became familiar with KaBoom after Hurricane Katrina when the organization built or upgraded more than 250 playgrounds in South Mississippi.  A grant from KaBoom is now helping fund upgrades and new additions at a playground in Diamondhead.

The sounds of power tools isn't the noise that usually resonates from parks and playgrounds.

But, the buzz of construction tools at the East Recreation Center in Diamondhead will bring back the sounds of kids at play in a bigger way.  The person who oversees the park is Brook Sentell.  "This hopefully will bring more kids to the area. The play sets that were here were geared toward a certain age group. 5 to 12 year olds. We're adding another area for the toddlers 2 to 5," said Sentell.

A $15,000 grant from KaBoom along with funds from the Diamondhead Property Owners Association will give the playground a makeover.

Outdated equipment will be replaced with modern stuff.  And more swings and play sets with climbing activities will be added.

"It's good for the community and builds relationships. Its been once said you can learn more about somebody within an hour of play than with a whole day of work," said Treynor McAdams, of Planet Recess & Kaboom.

Nearly 100 volunteers turned out to help get the job done.  Some of them were from Diamondhead.  But, the majority came from the Navy based at Stennis Space Center.  "We wanted just to give back to the community, explained Jen Gruber of the Naval Oceanography office at Stennis.  "We get a lot of support from all of the communities surrounding the Stennis Space Center area and we just wanted to do something in return."

The East Recreation Center should reopen on Monday.

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