A group of parents and children spruced up the fenced-in playground behind the Chalk Hill building on Fan Hill Road in Monroe, raking, sweeping and planting ornamental grasses, flowers and small shrubs in the sun.
The playground was built last winter when Sandy Hook Elementary School moved into the building after being displaced in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Newtown.
Plunkett recalls their telling the first selectman, "If they're going to use it as a school, the one thing that's missing is a playground."
"Steve said, 'Get it done. Whatever you have to do,'" Plunkett said, while volunteering at the playground Wednesday.
John Kimball of The Kimball Group was among the first people in the community to step forward to help, according to Plunkett.
She also credits Kevin Solli of Solli Engineering for coming up with the drainage and stone excavation plans.
All planning and labor was donated, according to Plunkett. "None of this cost anything," she added.
Aguilar said those who made the playground possible include Mountainview Landscaping & Lawncare; P&C Fencing, J. Videira's Paving; Enviro Designs; Kimball Group; Landscape Structures, contractors M.E. O’Brien and Sons, Inc.; Hubble; the town of Monroe; Yellow Dog Striping; the Monroe Board of Education and Monroe parent volunteers
"The sales representative for the playground company lives in Newtown and his kids had gone through Sandy Hook Elementary School, so he was very emotional," Plunkett said. "He had a huge tie to the project."
Next week, dirt and gravel will brought in to completely finish the project.
First Selectman Steve Vavrek arrived at the playground Wednesday with coffee and doughnuts for the group of about 25 volunteers.
Vavrek noted how organizers asked people from Sandy Hook School if they wanted a playground, then worked with Monroe Supt. of Schools James Agostine and town sports organizations like AYSO to ensure it would be built in the best location.
"I give credit to Jen and Kelly and everybody for getting this done," Vavrek said. "Nothing happens without volunteers. To see these volunteers out here on a beautiful day gives testament to the town too. Volunteer projects aren't always accepted right away. This one was."