Habitat for Humanity revitalizes Southeast Canton playground

Posted on September 07, 2023


In partnership with The Repository, every Monday, Stark Community Foundation highlights positive happenings in our community. Here’s to Good News Mondays!

The Southeast Canton community now has a state-of-the-art renovated playground and gathering space, thanks to Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio

One area of Habitat for Humanity’s investments has been holistic neighborhood revitalization efforts throughout Southeast Canton with new construction, home preservation, home repair, aging in place and demolition projects. When the opportunity to revitalize the community playground came to Habitat’s attention, the team knew that the project would honor the area’s rich history by creating a space to strengthen families through play and foster a sense of community with a place to gather.

“A playground is where children can unleash their imaginations, create lasting memories and cultivate new friendships — it's a place where a community is strengthened,” said Beth Lechner, CEO of Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio. “The Southeast Community Playground not only provides a safe and vibrant environment for children to play and learn, but it also serves as a space for connection and community for our neighbors and friends in Southeast Canton. As this playground becomes a hub of education, recreation and interaction, we pray it will foster a sense of belonging and togetherness for people of all ages, for generations to come.”

With help from Republic Services, Habitat for Humanity removed all remnants of old and unsafe play equipment that fell to disrepair as the demographic of the local students shifted from elementary-aged children to older youth.

Volunteers have installed new pavement, a walking track, large-scale playground equipment, basketball courts, benches, a kickball field, a new pavilion and an exercise obstacle course. The team will continue to restore a small amphitheater and add finishing touches that will help the playground shine as an age-appropriate space that fosters education and play for school students and conversation and community for its Southeast Canton neighbors.

Development of the Southeast Community Playground was made possible through funding and partnerships with the people of Southeast Canton, private donors, volunteers, the City of Canton and the Canton City School District. The Canton City School District has committed to maintaining the playground and ensuring it remains open for community use for years to come. 

“While we celebrate the partnerships that make the Southeast Community Playground possible, we also celebrate the thousands of individuals, residents, businesses, organizations, churches and foundations who have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to invest in the important work of neighborhood revitalization in Southeast Canton,” said Lechner. “From planning and preparation to long-term impact and ongoing investment, these collaborative efforts focus on all the ways Southeast Canton can continue to grow and thrive.”

The community is invited to join the residents of Southeast Canton and Habitat for Humanity at 5 p.m. Aug. 10 for a special celebration and dedication of the new playground. This event will take place at the playground located at 401 14th St. SE. 

Learn more about the initiative and see photos at www.habi.news/SEPlayground.

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