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August 25, 2013

Briarwood playground will be built in three days

NORMAN — The May tornadoes wiped out more than a few playgrounds in Cleveland County. The schools and parks in Moore were decimated. With kids back in school, outside play is essential when the academic day is over.

Norman’s Goodrich Memorial United Methodist Church is working with others to build a new community playground at Emmaus Baptist Church in south Oklahoma City.

The playground will serve the students displaced from the storm-damaged Briarwood Elementary School. Goodrich, its partners and KABOOM will blitz-build a massive playground Sept. 5-7.

Pastor Jim Shepherd helped round up 300 volunteers.

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“Unsurprisingly, the response has been overwhelming. I’ve literally had to tell my clergy friends around the state thanks but we have enough volunteers,” Shepherd said.

Goodrich, known for its community service, became involved through one of its members who is president of the Moore PTA council. KABOOM, which builds playgrounds throughout the country, stipulates in its grant that local volunteers be involved in the blitz build.

Shepherd said Briarwood students will be able to enjoy the playground while at their temporary school. When they return to a permanent school home the structure will stay at Emmaus where kids there and at the nearby Baptist Children’s Home can enjoy.

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More than a few Norman residents are feeling quite green these days. Their big, blue recycling containers are often filled with more items than their green trash containers.

Granted, recycling is every other week and trash pick-up is every week but it’s still a good feeling to have. Adding cardboard to the acceptable recycling mix makes the bins fill up fast.

A few months down the road, it’ll be interesting to see if the recycling program change makes a bigger dent in the amount of waste that has to be landfilled.

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Nearly 40 years of journalism will fill a notebook or two with funny stories. My nostalgic yarns about old Norman usually brings unusual items from readers.

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