RiseVT-Windham County awarded an amplify grant to Community Collaborative for Guilford (CC4G) and the Guilford Community Church for the construction and signage for the Algier’s Community playground. The Algier’s Community Playground is located at the Guilford Community Church in Algiers Village, within 3-5 minute walking distance from two Algiers Housing Units (which provide housing for low-income families and seniors) and a 2-minute walk from the Guilford County store via a walking path/ nature trail on the church property. There is public transportation to the Guilford Country Store from Brattleboro and surrounding towns via the Current.

The Community Collaborative for Guilford (CC4G) was established in 2015 to create and sustain an Early Learning and Family Resource Center that will help meet the physical, social and emotional needs of families and children in our community while strengthening Guilford’s future.

There were various times during 2019 that volunteers from the Guilford Community Church and from CC4G came together to work on the playground to improve its suitability and access to families wanting to use the facility. The volunteer team is organized by a member of both the Guilford Community Church and CC4G and is tasked with assembling his team of volunteers to oversee and maintain the playground during the spring, summer and fall months. The major functions we accomplished this year were to:

1) Place extra wood chips down in the playground to make it safer for kids;

2)  Reposition and replace the embedded beams around the playground to make the space distinct from non-playground areas;

3) Placement of a picket fence to enclose the area;

4) Erect an additional barrier (placement of cement-filled steel columns) that would impede vehicles from the parking lot to intrude unexpectedly into the area;

5) Placement of a sign indicating the area as a playground and attributing those who contributed to the realization of the playground.

The playground-fencing project installed fencing to separate the play space from parking to protect children from vehicles and prevent children from walking into parking lot and to protect play structure from plows as a way to define the play space.  This project and RiseVT’s funding increase opportunities for physical activity of children in a safe environment and space for families to play and interact. The overall project improves access to facilities, signage (safety, educational) encouraging healthy activities for all families. This collaborative effort strengthens communities by keeping children active and playing with their families.