University Area gets KaBOOM! playground after child killed playing in street

Community members will design, build it

TAMPA, Fla. - Children living in the impoverished neighborhoods adjacent to USF soon will have a dream playground, creating a safer place to play.

This comes nearly three years after a car hit and killed a little boy as he played in the street in this same neighborhood.

The night Yves Zamora died, 20th Street in Tampa was so dark, you could barely make out a cyclist riding by the scene of the accident. Community leaders say he was playing in the street because there was no where else safe to play.

That section of 20th Street, just off of Fletcher Avenue has no sidewalks and little street lighting. 

After that tragedy, the  University Area Community Development Corporation stepped in, building a community garden and working to bring changes to the neighborhood.

One of those steps was getting a KaBOOM! grant to bring a safer place for kids to play. 

The families in the neighborhood will design the playground themselves, creating drawings of their dream playgrounds. Then, adults  will form a planning committee and will select playground equipment and colors for the new custom playground, inspired by the kids' ideas.

The University Area CDC is working alongside KaBOOM! and other strategic partners to construct the playground. It should be constructed by November 2017.

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