The horrific school massacre in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary and the super storm that ravaged the Jersey Shore and coastal sections of New York share a name. The New Jersey Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) have found an amazing way to tie the two together to remember and rebuild.

26 sand pails on Sea Bright Public Beach in memory of the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT (photo: Scott Zabelski / Facebook)

They're called 'Sandy Grounds," and according to their website:

We endeavor to create 26 living memorials to all children who have been victims of violence while creating safe, fun places for children to be children. May these playgrounds provide a symbol of hope, recovery and a return to normalcy. A gift to our youth in an effort to enhance and sustain their precious childhood.

The first Sandy Ground was built this weekend by dozens of volunteers.

The beginning stages of the build at Sea Bright Public Beach (photo: Scott Zabelski / Facebook)
Layout for the build. (Photo: Jim Stelman / Facebook)
Sandy Ground coming together! (Photo: The Sandy Ground Facebook)
The very first Sandy Ground at Sea Bright Public Beach (photo: Scott Zabelski / Facebook)
The dedicated volunteers of the Sandy Ground Project (photo: The Sandy Ground Facebook)

More playgrounds are being planned at:

  • Scholer Park, Union Beach, NJ – In Memory Of: Jack Pinto
  • Father Capadanno Blvd, Midland Beach, Staten Island, NY – In Memory Of: Catherine Hubbard
  • Westport, CT – In Memory Of: Dylan Hockley
  • Normandy Beach, NJ – In Memory Of: Chase Kowalski
  • Rockaway, NY – In Memory Of: Noah Pozner
  • Ocean City, NJ – In Memory Of:  Benjamin Wheeler
  • Stratford, CT – In Memory Of:  Victoria Soto
  • Mystic Seaport, CT – In Memory Of:  Dawn Hochsprung

To make a donation, or find out more about The Sandy Ground, visit their website.