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August 25, 2018

Kids at Play

The sounds I enjoy hearing while residing in an urban neighborhood is the sound of children playing outside my door. It brings a smile to my face as children run and laugh up the sidewalks in my courtyard. It’s the noise I’ll settle for any night rather than hearing yelling kids or adults in anger. Playtime outside is important because children are being physically active as well as keeping their imagination. Most communities do not provide areas of leisure and activity for children to spend safely. This is something I wish to see change as communities begin to redevelop with families in mind. It would be different to see Overtown take a lead in park renovation by reinventing playtime for families and children in the community.

Overtown has done a great job cleaning up the former parks in the area as well as creating new parks in the neighborhood for children to enjoy. All the parks located in the community are colorful, clean and most importantly safe for children to be present in. Each park can tell a different story as soon as you enter. The most important factor has been covered which is safety. Parents can leave their children or allow kids to travel to the park without parent supervision. It’s all about the trust of the neighborhood that has grown as Overtown’s streets have been cleared of crime and violence. One of the more popular parks that have been redeveloped is Gibson Park located on 3rd Avenue and 9th Street. It’s a park that shows how much the city cares about the neighborhood and can be a great model for future parks. By hosting community events and activities, it’s the city center of outdoor amusement. This is how you can do playtime in Overtown.

With the great additions to Gibson Park, so much more can be added to allow children to gain greater experiences as they spend their time there. Adding activities or facilities that will enhance their playtime in an educational way would be a great way to add more value to their playtime. Being able to add artistic elements to parks as well for children to enjoy, such as having chalk available at the playground or even adding an arts section. Incorporating programs that are missing in most schools to local parks give the children an opportunity to experience them. Even having a community group be formed at the parks to help children become more engaged with each other in the neighborhood. Groups like Girl Scouts or a daily bike ride meet up can create a network of children who appreciate their community. When a child can have an eventful and enjoyable childhood it will influence their upbringing in adulthood. It’s imperative that we create these safe spaces for children to grow and enjoy.

Overtown is doing a great job at creating safe spaces for children to have playtime. The community has about six parks that are clean, safe, and entertaining for them to enjoy. Most of the parks host community activities and events keep the public engaged and active. The city has come a long way from the environment it once was known to have. This is a community that thinks of children and the families they derive from which is comforting to see when you decide to move here. I enjoy seeing children at play while being in their natural setting. There is always room for growth within any community and I believe Overtown can make that change to provide more. These changes can only happen if the residents are able to speak about the changes they would like to see happen within the community. Children are the future; their happiness and imagination are the key for a community to continue to succeed. We want families to picture their lives being started here in Overtown. People look for safe spaces to thrive in to grow families that will then start generations who will want to return home when it’s their time to build a family. Generational community growth is what we seek in order to keep communities prospering.

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