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      Chicora community builds playground next to neighborhood garden

      By Ava Wilhite awilhite@abcnews4.com

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Hammers, wrenches and wheelbarrows are taking over the Chicora Place community garden. Forty-five thousand pounds of mulch will cover the ground on what used to be an empty field next to the garden.

      "This is going to be the perfect location for moms to work in the garden, watch their children and be able to get some exercise for these kids because we all know how important fitness is," said Cindy Helling, the executive director of Select Health South Carolina.

      The City of North Charleston in partnership with Metanoia community development and select health began plans for the playground two years ago. The children in Metanoia's program were able to pick the playground design from top to bottom of the structure.

      The hope is that building these playgrounds will help lower the rate of childhood obesity. That's the thought behind the partnership between Select Health of South Carolina and Metanoia Community Development.

      "There is nothing over here. It is just significant to have this be one of the first playground because there is this whole section of community cut off from any type of recreation. So having the space where there is a playground right next to the community garden. We're hoping to get more people engaged in the garden as well," said Chicora Community Garden Coordinator Jermaine Jenkins.

      The playground is designed for children ages 5 to 12.

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