Tampa kids help design a new playground in the University area

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, September 04, 2017, 8:56 PM EDT

There is a playground on the way for residents in the University area. And children helped to design it.

  • Playground to be built on empty lot at 20th Street in Tampa
  • University group let kids design elements of the playground
  • The park will cost $100,000 to build

"We're going to have a little ladybug we can ride on," said 7-year-old Aaliyah Rodriguez, showing off the dream playground she wants to have built. "It goes back and forth."

The playground will be built on an empty lot at 13702 N. 20th St. in Tampa.

Last week, dozens of children drew their own colorful renderings of how they imagined the playground should look.

"I put ropes that you can climb on," said 8-year-old Jayshawn Copeland. "Some toy cars."

Some of the children's ideas will be used for the future playground.

"We want to make sure we're designing it for them and they have a voice in the process," said Sarah Combs, CEO of the University Area Community Development Corporation.

The University Area Community Development Corporation and the nonprofit KaBoom! are spearheading the effort.

Combs said children need a playground there.

A few years ago a child died while riding their bike in the street in front of where the playground will be located.

"He's still a memory for all of us," said neighbor Lashanda Copeland. "We won't let his memory die."

Lashanda Copeland said she never takes her children to the park because it's too far and there are no sidewalks.

Her family looks forward to having a playground nearby.

"At least this way I don't have to walk too far," Lashanda Copeland said. "It's definitely closer too home."

The park will cost $100,000 to build. A grant from the Tampa Bay Rays and Bank of America will make the children's dream a reality.

In the next few weeks, families in the University area will get the chance to look at three renderings and then pick their favorite playground.