BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- A mosque on Buffalo’s East Side hopes a state of the art playground will breathe new life into the neighborhood. It’s a costly project and they’re raising money to make it happen.
Jami Mosque on Genesee St. wants to transform the blacktop behind the building into a $91,000 playground that would be open to the whole neighborhood. The community is already stepping up with an outpouring of support to make it happen.
The mosque and the Universal School located there, teamed up with the local production company True Intent Productions to launch a video fundraising campaign last week. Akram Shibly, founder of True Intent Productions, shared the video with News 4.
They’ve already raised $45,000 from about 180 donors.
A board member for the Universal School, Myles Carter, told News 4 Schiller Park is the closest park to this neighborhood at nearly a mile away. This playground is desperately needed.
He said it will be innovative, with a large rubber mat on the bottom, a jungle gym, swings and riding animals.
It would be closed to the public during school hours but open to the public in the evenings and on weekends.
Carter said there has been a lot of growth in other areas of the city and they hope this will have a positive effect on their East Side neighborhood.
“There’s a lot of abandoned buildings, run down houses, it’s very depressed looking,” said Carter. “We need something here that’s not only going to brighten up this space but brighten up the lives of the kids served by something like this.”
Neighbors told News 4 they’re looking forward to the new playground.
“I think the idea of a playground here on the East Side, especially in this area, is really great,” said Him Hudson, who lives within a block of the mosque. “There are not a shortage of children on the East Side. This will be great, it will be wonderful to keep them off the streets, off the sidewalks at random times during the day and give them somewhere to focus.”
The group hopes to raise the rest of the money as soon as possible. They hope to have the playground open this spring.