It started as a dream six years ago – to create a place in the Magnolia North neighborhood where children could play in a safe, welcoming environment. In 2013, the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) worked with partners Kaboom, Metlife, Habitat for Humanity, and other community agencies to transform an abandoned site rife with trash into a playground and space for adults to gather and play dominos, cards or exercise. OLCDC conducted the transformation in 3 stages:
1) install playground equipment
2) plant native trees, shrubs and bushes, put in domino and card tables, and install lights
3) install five outdoor exercise machines.
After the park was completed, the OLCDC installed a fence in the shape of colorful pencils to make the site even safer for the children playing there. Over two dates in the summer of 2019, the OLCDC partnered with Amazon to complete the installation and paint the fence. Having recently opened a large fulfillment center in Opa-locka, Amazon was interested in providing a meaningful volunteer experience in the community for their employees. OLCDC also conducted a volunteer day with United Way to complete the project.
“We wanted to do a project for the Opa-locka community that would have a lasting impact. Partnering with the OLCDC was the perfect opportunity to participate in a project that would tangibly help our community,” said Claudio Innocente, Amazon’s Opa-locka Fulfillment Center General Manager.
Over 30 Amazon employees over two dates helped install the fence, paint a base coat, and then paint the final colorful fence. “Amazon is a valuable partner, and we are grateful for their assistance in this important project. Their contribution will help children in Opa-locka have a safe place to play for years to come,” said Nikisha Williams, the OLCDC’s Chief Operating Officer.
The park, located at 2123 Ali Baba Avenue in Magnolia North, is open to the public seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. It is one block away from Magnolia North Apartments, a 30-unit affordable housing apartment complex developed by the OLCDC.