Niantic Park community build needs volunteers

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Niantic Park in Oak Bluffs prepares for an upgrade. – MV Times File Photo

The Niantic Park Playground Project (NPPP) began in 2014 when a small group of parents committed to improving the more than 30-year-old playground. Now, as the new Niantic Park Playground comes to life, kids will soon have a new place to play that will include a steamship to pilot, a lighthouse to ascend, and a gingerbread house to climb. The NPPP has raised much of the funds needed to complete the work, and are holding a community build from Wednesday, Oct. 14, to Sunday the 18th to push the project over the finish line.

The area will be buzzing with activity over the five-day-long “playground raising.” Over 100 volunteers a day are needed to make the vision a reality, with jobs ranging from construction labor to tool contribution, to food organization, with multihour shifts throughout the day.

Many volunteer teams have formed, including town police and fire departments, construction companies, families, and individuals. However, over 50 percent of the spaces remain available for sign-up. Children ages 10 to 13 may work next to their parents on the work site, and children ages 14 to 17 may work on crews without parents. Kids under 10 can help in the food tent.

The NPPP has partnered with the Town of Oak Bluffs as well as the Friends of Oak Bluffs to plan, manage, and organize the project, ensuring integration with the rest of the Niantic Park rehabilitation initiative. This new playground will cost $126,000, while $118,000 has been raised to date through community funding, fundraising events, and donations from Island residents and businesses.

Anyone interested in creating a playground for the Island, by the Island, go to facebook.com/NPPProject, where there is a link to the volunteer sign-up, or contact the volunteer team led by Holly Thomas at hathomas@hotmail.com.