On Saturday, July 28, a dedicated group of volunteers transformed an empty site into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground at Cheyenne River Youth Project. In just six hours, 38 volunteers did the work of 100-plus—and CRYP’s children now have the KaBoom play space they’ve wanted since 2015.
“Hats off to KaBoom, the Playworld staff, Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo volunteers, the United Way, LDS Church, Partnership for Native Americans, Dietel Partners, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Property and Supply, and CRST Housing Authority,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “I also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to my staff, my family members and all the community volunteers who came to help. I can’t say enough good things about you all.”
Play is essential to children’s physical, creative, cognitive, social and emotional development. CRYP has had an urgent need for this new play space at The Main, its youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds, after the facility’s aging and obsolete play equipment was removed years ago.
“Our kids have been so sad without their playground, and they’ve asked so many times when we would be able to provide a new one,” Garreau said. “I’ve sustained myself for the last three years by imagining our kids running to the new playground, laughing and having fun. It’s been quite a journey to get to this point. Now it’s here… I can’t wait to drive to work and see that beautiful new play space where kids can have fun and get exercise on safe, new equipment.”
In April, Eagle Butte’s children came together to design what would become their dream playground. The real-life playground is based off their drawings, and it will give hundreds of Cheyenne River children an engaging, fun and safe place to play.
This playground is part of a broader effort led by Wells Fargo and KaBoom to ensure communities have great “play-ces” for kids and families. It is the first build by the partners.
“We deeply appreciate that the partners—and the volunteers—in this project sought to create an oasis where kids feel valued and loved, and where their potential is supported, nurtured and celebrated,” Garreau said. “That resonates with our own desire to provide our Lakota youth with access to a vibrant and more secure future, one in which they thrive.”
To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids