NORWALK, Conn. – Construction is now under way on the playground in Norwalk’s Oyster Shell Park in memory of Sandy Hook School shooting victim Allison Wyatt.
The playground is the latest site for the Sandy Ground Project, an undertaking by the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA). The organization plans to build 26 playgrounds in tri-state area communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, each dedicated to the memory of one of the 26 students and teachers who died in the tragedy in December 2012.
Norwalk’s playground is dedicated to Allison, a first-grade student at the time of the Sandy Hook School murders.
“She was a sweet, creative, funny, intelligent little girl who had an amazing life ahead of her,” Allison’s parents wrote on her memorial page. “Our world is a lot darker now that she’s gone, but we have been finding signs of her everywhere and know that she will always be with us."
The NJFMBA teamed up with Norwalk’s International Association of Fire Firefighters Local 830 to raise funds for the playground’s costs, and the two groups will now work together to construct the playground.
The playground equipment arrived in Norwalk this week, and construction began Wednesday. Norwalk’s firefighters expect to be able to cut the ribbon on the park Sunday at noon.
“Our membership donated countless man-hours and resources to not only get the project funded, but also will be present in the upcoming days to assist with the actual construction,” the Norwalk firefighters’ union said in a press release.
Each of the 26 playgrounds will include small touches to reflect the personality of its namesake. For example, Allison’s playground will include goldfish imagery, as she was fond of the fish-shaped cracker. Norwalk-based Pepperidge Farm, which makes Goldfish crackers, has offered its support to the project.
“Allison loved Goldfish crackers and always cared and shared with others, which will be reflected in elements of the Norwalk Playground,” the union's release said.
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