The Pier 25 Children's Playground reopened Saturday after six months of hurricane repairs and fundraising. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.
The playground at Pier 25 is back open for business, and it might just be one of the happiest spots in the city.
Local kids have been longing to climb at the playground since Hurricane Sandy blew through.
"There was an enormous eruption of the pavement and all the materials below it, so it looked like someone threw a bomb into the playground" said Madelyn Wils, president and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust.
"I thought it was going to take a year to rebuild and I wouldn't be able to play here," said one child at the park.
The always-bustling TriBeCa playground hadn't even been open five years when Hurricane Sandy hit.
"The idea that it got devastated so quickly was really painful for the neighborhood," said Susanna Aaron of Friends of Hudson River Park. "This is their lifeblood."
"During the months we couldn't come here, they would often ask about the park and say, 'We don't like the hurricane, Daddy. When is the park going to open?'" said one parent at the park.
It was going to cost $450,000 to get kids playing there again, so neighborhood families mobilized.
"We put out a cry for help and asked people to join in the effort, and you cannot believe the response that we got," Aaron said. "People really reached out with their heart and their wallets."
The TriBeCa community donated more than $300,000, which ensured the playground opened sooner.
"It's why I do this job, is to have people show their love and support for the park, and it's what makes us get up every day and do the work that we do," Wils said.
The Hudson River Park sufferred $20 million in Sandy damage. By July 4, the entire park will be repaired, and at least for these kids, Hurricane Sandy will be just a memory.