The Louisville Metro Parks Foundation (LMPF) and the DREAM Foundation are teaming up with Phillis Wheatley Elementary School to renovate the California Park playground. Wheatley has very little green space, and it utilizes the public park’s playground as the school play area. The renovation of the playground is part of the West Louisville Playground Initiative which is a fundraising effort by LMPF.
Thanks to a partnership with the DREAM Foundation, the new playground will be designed as an “inclusive playground”, which allows children in wheelchairs an opportunity to play on the equipment. Instead of the traditional mulch, the surfacing is made of rubber and the equipment is designed with larger openings for wheelchair access. If funding permits, another amenity may include a new sprayground.
The Phillis Wheatley Elementary community participated directly in the effort to renovate California Park by asking folks to donate “change for a change”. Students were given Ziploc bags to take home with a letter encouraging parents to ask family, friends and neighbors to donate their change to go toward the California Park renovations. Through their efforts they were able to collect just over $300 just by asking for pennies, nickels and dimes.
It goes without saying that playgrounds are important. For some kids, the playground offers their only opportunity for exercise throughout the day. In an article written by author Nikke Maidment, she clearly identifies the importance of playgrounds. Maidment said, “From the earliest age, it is essential for children to engage in child play and interact with others. Psychologists have found it to be vital in child development as well as allowing them to interact and learn fundamental social skills. Playgrounds provide a venue for children to explore their environment, test boundaries and develop an imagination. It also provides them a chance to build self-esteem and confidence, which is key in order for them to reach their full potential later in life.”
How can you help?
Make a donation of any amount! Make checks payable to the “Louisville Metro Parks Foundation” and mail to:
Post Office Box 37280
Louisville, Kentucky 40233-7280