Over 80 Delta volunteers and 20 community volunteers came together on June 26 in partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to build a colorful new playground and other play-related side projects at Dobbs Elementary School, part of Atlanta Public Schools. TPL’s Community Schoolyards program envisions a future where green schoolyards become a standard practice, serving as a hub for community empowerment, improved health and education, and climate resiliency.
“This was the first major in-person volunteer experience for Delta’s Community Engagement since the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on volunteering in March 2020, and it was great to have our volunteers out showing the Delta difference in the community – especially at Dobbs Elementary, which is a long-time partner and has been the site of one of our Reading Buddies programs for five years. It is great to be back in the community serving,” said Tad Hutcheson, Managing Director – Community Engagement.
TPL and Delta volunteers met with the students of Dobbs in 2019 to get their input on what they wanted in their playground and their School Yard, but the project was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic. The new playground that came to life on Saturday includes colorful slides and monkey bars, but also boasts a renovated outdoor classroom, three reading trellises with benches, new garden raised beds, freshly painted picnic tables and sidewalk and a rain garden. The Schoolyard is open to the public, allowing surrounding neighborhoods to enjoy it outside of regular school hours – another key element of the Schoolyard mission.
“The mission of The Trust for Public Land is to connect as many people to nature as possible. We do that through land conservation, and we do that through park construction and park development,” said Jay Wozniak, Director Georgia Urban Parks, Trust for Public Land. “Our focus across the country is making sure that all Americans have a great park within a 10-minute walk from their home. To work side by side with the employees at Delta is amazing! They have the same passion as TPL in connecting with the community and impacting the environment.”
This is the first of three Schoolyard projects Delta has committed to build with TPL. Delta volunteers helped build the playground at Cook Park in ATL in 2018, which recently opened to the public.