I walked past the Forest Hills Playground, and had to chuckle. The rebuilt play space is a big change from previous playgrounds that have been at the same spot at Chesapeake and 32nd Streets for decades, but one thing hasn’t changed a bit.
What parents had stressed over and over again in community meetings was the need to contain the sand. Sand was messy and it had gotten all over the previous rendition of the playground and the one before that. And back then, the sandbox was much bigger.
I sat in those meetings wondering whether I should say my piece. When Sally and Steve Gresham took on renovating the Murch playground, I remembered Jan Buresh’s request that there remain the space on the hill for digging in the dirt. We all concurred that digging in the dirt was good for the soul. As a kid, I especially liked making mud pies. The texture just right when I added water – slimy, drippy, oozy.
At the Forest Hills Playground meetings, I remained silent. This was a new generation.
So here it was, sand spread all around the playground. Kids will be kids, and love to dig and be messy. Frankly, I would be disturbed if sand did not find its way out of the box.