An NJ.com piece recently shed light on a plan to memorialize the victims of Sandy Hook with a series of playgrounds. The effort, known as “The Sandy Hook Ground Project: Where Angels Play,” involves constructing 26 playgrounds, one for each of the victims, in various Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Sea Bright, NJ, was selected as the first for construction, and special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy will be the first memorialized.
According to the project’s website, each playground will capture the individual’s personality and interests and will feature new state-of-the-art equipment with handicap accessibility and a reflective area. The idea materialized as a pay-it-forward instance. After New Jersey firefighters built playgrounds in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, children in the Gulf Coast state sent victims of Hurricane Sandy Christmas gifts at the end of 2012. Now, for the victims of Newtown, the Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore and the New Jersey Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) are coming together.
Speaking about the project, which will have the playground constructed near the former boardwalk, FMBA President Bill Lavin told the press: “It rocks your priorities to the core. When you see families that are torn apart, and loss of children, you personally feel almost guilty that you’ve complained about anything in your life.”
10 playgrounds will be built in New Jersey communities, with another 10 in New York and an additional six in Connecticut. The final will be in Sandy Hook. Because of the amount of damage that occurred from the hurricane, Sea Bright was selected as the first. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.2 million to $2 million, with each playground being roughly $80,000 to $90,000 to construct.