By Monique McFadden, Fort Meade Public Affairs

(Fort George G. Meade, Md.) -- Fort Meade community members spread nearly 10 dump trucks' worth of mulch on June 26 at the KABOOM playground, following its closure for two months due to safety concerns.

Matthew Shaffer, the Director of the Directorate of Public Works, explained that the decision to involve Fort Meade service members, families, and community partners was aimed at addressing maintenance and safety issues to ensure the playground's restoration.

Jason Hipp, the DPW Operations and Maintenance Supervisor, confirmed that the mulch used for the playground was chemical-free, devoid of dying agents, and safe for children. It was spread in a 12-inch base layer to provide cushioning for potential falls.

Hipp expressed pride in rectifying the safety concerns of the playground, emphasizing the significance of providing a secure play area for the children of military personnel and the local community.

The KABOOM playground boasts various features, including multiple swings, a swing to accommodate children with special needs, tunnel slides, regular slides, a rock wall, spring rocking seats, climbing bars, a fireman's pole, and a balancing log.

At the conclusion of the event, the KABOOM playground was declared open for play, much to the delight of Col. Michael Sapp, the garrison commander. Sapp believes that reopening the playground enhances the quality of life for community members, emphasizing its importance as a safe space for families with young children to gather and enjoy outdoor activities.

The community project exemplified the commitment of Fort Meade residents to improving the installation. Special thanks were extended to the service members, community volunteers, and Jason Hipp for organizing this volunteer opportunity.

Additionally, Team Meade expressed gratitude to the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Fort Meade USO, and the Military Affairs Committee for their donations of water and snacks.

The playground was built September 2011 by KABOOM, whose goal is to unite communities to build kid-designed playspaces. KABOOM is the national nonprofit that works to end playspace inequity for good.

Editor’s Note: This article was written with the assistance of ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI.