KaBOOM volunteers build new playground in east Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Councilwoman Desley Brooks Friday helped dedicate a new playground at a park in East Oakland aimed at bringing new life to the neighborhood.

The playground at Burkhalter Park at 4062 Edwards Ave. was built by Morgan Stanley employees and volunteers from KaBOOM, a nonprofit group that helps communities build playgrounds for children.

Brooks, who represents the area, was awarded a KaBOOM grant, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, in March to make improvements to the park's play area. The city hasn't been able to upgrade the park because of budget constraints.

Morgan Stanley officials said they've selected Oakland to be one of three pilot cities nationwide to take part in the company's new "Healthy Cities" initiative, which delivers critical needs for children to give them a healthy start for consistent and meaningful achievement in life.

In Oakland, Morgan Stanley has partnered with the Alameda County Food Bank, La Clinica de La Raza, Feeding America and KaBOOM to integrate health care delivery with food banks, provide health screenings for more than 300 children, deliver 128,000 meals to children through school or mobile pantries and build safe play spaces for 1,000 children to play and exercise.

The design for the new playground is based on children's drawings created at a special design event in April.
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