June 2017 Park of the Month: McMahon Playground

A year later, it’s tough to even remember what McMahon Playground at Hampton Park looked like. Think back to dirt patches and well-used playground equipment. Remember the worn benches and lack of shade on a hot day.

Thanks to neighbors willing to roll up their sleeves and raise the needed funds, McMahon Playground has been transformed into a popular playground and neighborhood gathering space. The Conservancy partnered with the City of Charleston and neighborhoods near the park to create a space that fosters a sense of community among those who live close by as well as those visiting Hampton Park or the nearby ball fields.

Marijana Boone was instrumental in helping the Conservancy raise the money to renovate McMahon Playground. In [this video](https://www.facebook.com/CharlestonParksConservancy/videos/10158771375215599/), she talks about the impact it’s had on her and the neighborhood.

In addition to upgraded — and shaded — playground equipment, the Conservancy added flower beds and gardens along Cleveland Street and the playground entrance. In case you’ve been wondering about some of the plants blooming now:

__Big Daddy Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)__
![Big Daddy Hydrangea](//images.contentful.com/tmgf48hvolpe/SHzG0E4fuwK0Qw46EOwoo/5bbda084ecc6b25d3e7284c3e25510ea/big_daddy_hydragea.jpg)
__Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)__
![Bottlebrush](//images.contentful.com/tmgf48hvolpe/31OCVtcU0UeYOmQqWUCyOo/850639d03698600cd608e403f6c4cc0d/Little_John_Dwarf_Bottlebrush.png)
__Willow-leaved Jessamine (Cestrum parqui)__
![Willow-Leaved Jessamine ](//images.contentful.com/tmgf48hvolpe/3JniLgWvjOEom8sCy6MaiS/59bc532483ee070235592b46856da352/Willow-Leaved_Jessamine__2_.JPG)
__Bear’s Breech (Acanthus or “summer beauty”)__
![Summer Beauty (Acanthus)](//images.contentful.com/tmgf48hvolpe/4UPElRFTv2kwYOa4mK8ySk/b293942ce9bc37b4be5fdb9aeb02aae0/Summer_Beauty__2_.JPG)
__Limelight Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)__
![Limelight Hydrangea ](//images.contentful.com/tmgf48hvolpe/3MlFDMRMLK8yysiuqQYYQK/f4ee3ce8d77ee3bdd3cb05113d3460e4/Limelight_Hydrangea__3_.JPG)

Also, the Apple Blossom Caladiums are just starting to emerge from the ground and will be filling in the flower gardens soon with their large leaves.

*Park fun facts: The playground is named for Genevieve Kanapaux McMahon, who, for nearly 20 years, was the supervisor and a coach at the park. The playground was named in her honor on Oct. 2, 1999. Also, in 1904, McMahon Playground was home to Charleston’s first minor league baseball team, The Charleston Seagulls (1886-1917).
*

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