Shawn Field, left, and Jay Rogoff are the co-chairs of the SMCCA  Lets Play 11566 Committee.
Photo by Alyssa Seidman Merrick Herald

Determined dads give community a place to play

Wynsum Ave Park

  At the Wynsum Ave Park at Illona Lane SMCCA and the Let's Play 11566 Committee worked to get Playground Equipment for 2- 5 year olds and 5-12 year olds placed in park, a new fence and up graded landscaping developed at the entrances on Wynsum Ave & Illona Lane over the last 3 years. This has been accomplished with the assistance of the Let's Play 11566 Committee which has helped fund raise for this project. This new playground  opened  on April 28, 2019 after Ribbon cutting Ceremony .

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  "Nature, recreation, and fun are the true components of why good parks are necessary to our community.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of Town officials, led by Supervisor Gillen, the Wynsum Avenue Park is no longer 'make pretend' but a happy reality for the neighborhood kids of Merrick." 

State Senator John Brooks

Let’s Play!
Gillen and King Sweeney Join with Local Community Leaders to Celebrate the Opening of New Merrick Playground

 Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney joined members of the South Merrick Community Civic Association and elected officials for a ceremonial ribbon cutting to officially open the new playground at Wynsum Avenue Park in Merrick.  The new playground was several years in the making, and demonstrates the positive result of neighbors and government working together to enhance resources for our residents.

“I’m delighted to celebrate the official opening of Wynsum Avenue Park with the South Merrick Community Civic Association, the Let’s Play 11566 Committee and local families who will now have the opportunity to enjoy the new playground in their neighborhood,” said Supervisor Laura Gillen. “There is no doubt that this playground will be a place where parents, caregivers and children will create countless memories, bonds and friendships for many years to come.”

“The collaborative effort which resulted in the beautiful new playground at Wynsum Avenue Park is an excellent example of how government can work together with members in the neighborhood to make improvements in our town,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney.  “Many thanks to the community, Shawn Field and Jay Rogoff the Let’s Play 11566 coordinators, and the South Merrick Community Civic Association for their hard work in ensuring that our children have a wonderful new playground to enjoy in their local community.”

Legislator Steve Rhoads shared, “I’m proud that I was able to partner with Let’s Play 11566, the South Merrick Community Civic Association and the Town in delivering this beautiful new playground to the South Merrick Community which will provide our kids and grandkids countless hours of fun.  A special thank you to Shawn Field, Jay Rogoff and their families for spearheading this effort!”

“I am so pleased of the bipartisan support that made this beautiful playground possible!” shared Joe Baker, President of the South Merrick Community Civic Association.  “Children as well as parents will be enjoying this playground for many years with memories of fun and remembering the park where they made new friends.”

The Wynsum Avenue Playground features two separate play areas, one for children age’s two to five and the other for children five to twelve.  The playground includes multiple slides, climbers, swings, spinners and more.  Funding for the playground came from a number of sources including a $75,000 grant from Nassau County, a New York State grant of $200,000 as well as funds raised by the organization Let’s Play 11566.  The Let’s Play 11566 was established by community members Shawn Field and Jay Rogoff who led the charge and fundraising efforts to build a playground at the Wynsum Town Park, which had been strictly a passive park with a walking path and benches.  The major headline sponsor of the two to five year old play area for the playground is Coleman Country Day Camp.

          “Today we celebrate the extensive efforts of the past few years that made the vision of the playground a reality, and it gives me great pleasure to see children enjoying the new park.  The playground was a result of hard-fought advocacy by many young families in Merrick, and I had the privilege of helping them achieve their desire for a neighborhood-appropriate playground for our kids,” concluded Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney.