West Michigan Church Builds Playground for Community

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The neighborhood around Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., is full of places to live and shop. What it didn’t have, however, was a park where children could play and neighbors gather. Calvary CRC is changing that.

Volunteers help distribute bark for the new playground at Calvary CRC.

The church is using its plentiful green space to provide a safe outdoor recreational area, dubbed Northside Community Park, for the neighborhood.

The first phase of the project, a new playground, was erected over one weekend this summer by over 40 volunteers from the congregation. Funds were raised primarily by the congregation and supplemented with community grants.

“If you pass by on any evening you will likely see one or two families there playing. It is a nice place for people from surrounding neighborhoods to gather—something they didn’t really have in the past,” said Ross Graveling, director of community ministries at the church. “The people in the area and families from our congregation have found the playground a huge asset. It is so nice to have a fun, safe, and close place for kids to play,” he said.

Calvary also started a community garden and shares the produce through the church’s food pantry.

The next phase includes a pavilion/picnic area. The church hopes these steps are only the beginning of ways to bless their neighbors.

“God has given us this land in the neighborhood for a reason,” said Graveling, “and we want to continue to find new ways to use it for his kingdom.”

About the Author

Susan Vanden Berg is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Holland, Michigan.

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