By Jill Fox
The final touches are being put on the playground dedicated to 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, whose young life was cut short by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Located inside Betti Stradling Park, at the corner of Wiles Road and Coral Springs Drive, “Princess Meadow’s Playground” will honor the young woman, who once dreamed of becoming an attorney and helping people.
“We wanted a colorful playground, with children playing and feeling happy to remember her in a positive way, and that’s why the playground means a lot to us,” said Meadow’s older brother, Hunter Pollack.
The formal ribbon cutting will take place on Saturday, January 4, beginning at 10 a.m. The Pollack family will be present, including Hunter, his brother Huck, father Andrew, and his wife Julie, who will have a butterfly release.
Representing Coral Springs, and delivering remarks will be City Manager Frank Babinec and Commissioner Larry Vignola, who was part of the commission who approved the construction of the playground.
Also, the city has invited all Parkland commission members, and on their behalf, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky will provide comments.
Hunter said working with the city of Coral Springs has been great. The city is funding a portion of the park renovation, which will include a memorial fountain for each of those who lost their lives at the Parkland school, which serves many students in Coral Springs.
Through fundraisers and generous donations, more than $500,000 was collected to construct the playground, which includes the installation of new equipment, a splash zone, shade canopies, as well as safety surfacing. Recently, the Florida Panthers provided $25,000 to Meadow’s Movement.
Originally planned to be built on the grounds of Chabad of Coral Springs, the project was later moved to Betti Stradling Park.
“It’s nice because now, not only Jewish people, but the entire community can visit the park,” said Hunter, “We want the busiest, we want the best, and that’s what we’re going to have.”
The decision to build a playground in Meadow’s honor was for the family to ensure she is remembered in a positive light —instead of a gravesite with flowers and tears.
“I’m just looking forward to driving by on the weekends, seeing parties at the pavilion, people grilling, and children playing on the playground,” said Hunter. “It will only bring me to peace, knowing that we did something positive for Meadow in Coral Springs.”
Betti Stradling Park is located at 10301 Wiles Road. Attendees can park at Publix at Brookside Square or Coral Springs Middle School.