[StBernard] EDITORIAL: Lend a hand

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jan 8 23:23:38 EST 2008

EDITORIAL: Lend a hand
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
St. Bernard Parish residents are vowing to rebuild the large playground that
an arsonist destroyed last week -- and volunteers across the metro area
should help them.

Four years ago, more than 1,500 volunteers came together to build the St.
Bernard Community Playground in Chalmette, in a six-day, barn-raising-style
effort. That made the 12,000-square-foot wooden playground an object of
pride for the entire parish.

The playground survived Katrina mostly unscathed, and volunteers had planned
to clean and reopen it once FEMA trailers around it were removed in a few
weeks. It's unconscionable that a criminal would burn down a place where
children play.

Polly Boudreaux, who led the effort to build the playground, estimates
damages reached $100,000 just for materials. But she and others said they
are committed to rebuilding one of the few recreational options in a parish
that Katrina left in ruins.

Ms. Boudreaux said her phone is already ringing with calls from people
offering help. For a community that has been through so much, Ms. Boudreaux
said, rebuilding the park will have a healing effect.

That alone will make the effort worth it.

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