Plantersville youth design dream playground

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Children play a game before designing their dream playgrounds Thursday night at New Zion Baptist Church in Plantersville. The city won a grant to build a playground, and local children were asked to design what kind of features they would like on the playground.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Children play a game before designing their dream playgrounds Thursday night at New Zion Baptist Church in Plantersville. The city won a grant to build a playground, and local children were asked to design what kind of features they would like on the playground.

By JB Clark

Daily Journal

PLANTERSVILLE – About 30 of Plantersville’s youth were at New Zion Baptist Church on Thursday to design the playground of their dreams.

Many of those dreams will be realized next month when Kaboom!, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and volunteers from Plantersville get together to build a playground.

Plantersville was awarded the playground last year for having the largest percentage of its population go online and commit to playing an extra hour each week as a part of the Mississippi Mayors’ Let’s Play Challenge.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Mason Betts, 7, draws his dream playground Thursday night in Plantersville.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Mason Betts, 7, draws his dream playground Thursday night in Plantersville.

“We competed with cities like Tupelo and Hattiesburg,” said Town Clerk Norma Ballard. Approximately 30 percent of Plantersville’s population made the commitment.

To get the children excited about playing, Kaboom! Project Manager Katrina Hill had them play silly games and then talk about what’s important when playing.

One child said it’s important not to litter and to be nice to others. Another said she likes to play because it “makes me not bored” and another said it makes him feel free.

Ellie Swain, 4, drew a playground with a slide, a playhouse and a photo booth.

Makenzie Metcalf, 9, has never been on a zip-line but thinks it would be cool to add one to their new playground. “My cousin said it was fun so I want to get one,” she said. She put a swing set next to her zip-line because she likes to swing high.

After the children finished their drawings, Hill gathered them and talked through logistics with the parents and community members.

The playground will be about 2,500 square feet and installed at Grant-Weichet Park on Central Street.

“It’s a community-built playground, meaning volunteer labor,” she said. “We’re going to feed everybody, we’re going to get all the tools donated or loaned so we have two months to get all of this pulled together.”

jb.clark@journalinc.com