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A Makeover for Broadneck Park

Touch a Truck fundraiser adds to $35K from county

Kara McGuirk-Allison was ecstatic that Anne Arundel County approved $35,000 to update the Broadneck Playground built in 1991.
    “There isn’t really a playground in Anne Arundel County that serves the needs of kids with disabilities,” says McGuirk-Allison. “We want it to be so cool that people go out of their way to the playground.”
    The park will follow the American Disabilities Association’s requirements, including ramps and equipment at wheelchair height.
    That’s a far cry from today’s park.
    The playground structure is safe and sound, which McGuirk-Allison says is the most important thing. But it’s old and doesn’t offer any creativity. And the wooden structure gives kids splinters. They burn their bums as they slide down the metal slide.    
    On their own, the dedicated Friends have raised about $3,000 since February. The most successful was Touch a Truck, where 11 different organizations brought vehicles from fire trucks to BGE’s bucket trucks for the kids to climb on.
    McGuirk-Allison wants to raise $15,000 by next February. Fundraising gets the kids involved, too.
    The next effort: Lemonade stands. The idea came from their youngest volunteer, Amelia Peck, who is about to enter kindergarten.
    Amelia set up a lemonade stand in her front yard, raising $50. Now, McGuirk-Allison says, the Friends are dedicating a week to lemonade stands. Ten families have signed up.
    “We have a unique opportunity here,” said county parks administrator Mark Garrity. “The county approved money in its budget for this specific park, and local volunteers are willing to put time and effort into the project. So when we do it, we want to do it right.”