Johnson Matthey employees help rebuild a local playground


The Field of Dreams is a recreational playground in West Deptford, New Jersey, USA. Once a fairytale land of turrets, walkways and dedicated play areas, it was originally built by community volunteers in 1996. The park is close to Johnson Matthey's Catalysts, Chemicals & Refining (CCR) and Pharmaceutical Materials businesses West Deptford site and employees themselves have used the park for family outings.

Time has, however, taken its toll and the Field of Dreams had become in need of repair, with its once colourful towers weather beaten and worn and the protective mulch ground down to bare dirt. It was in need of love.

The playground is popular and well used but much work was needed to restore it to its former glory. Indeed, times have moved on and the repairs had to take account of more recent safety and disability legislation.

The idea for a community project came from CCR Operations Manager, Elba Lizardi. Local Township Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo, whose husband works at Johnson Matthey, suggested revitalising the Field of Dreams and championed the effort.

In addition to the two Johnson Matthey businesses at the West Deptford site, another local chemical company, Solvay Solexis also contributed to this project. Although both companies gave monetary donations towards the park's regeneration, the companies' contributions are not solely financial as approximately 150 employees volunteered their time as well.

The project fitted the site's aspirations for community investment and will make a real difference to the local community.

The project was completed in May 2012 and Johnson Matthey's West Deptford site is proud to have been able to help realise the dreams of local children.

CCR General Manager, Robert Bullen-Smith echoed fellow Johnson Matthey General Managers Gerard Compagnoni and Ted Dolan stating,

" The key driver for this project was the investment into the local community. It was a collective effort by all employees."