There’s something particularly satisfying about watching kids run, jump and climb on a playground built by a community. As you begin the playground planning process, consider making your project a community build. Not only can it help save costs, but it also brings neighbors and communities closer together. Watch the video below to see how Annandale Elementary School in Annandale, Minn., and their local Lions Club worked together to build new school playgrounds.
Learn more about community playground builds at playlsi.com, and contact your local playground consultant to request our Guide to Community Build Playgrounds.
I truly believe in the value of community builds and plan to participate in as many as I have the opportunity to. Though at the same time I wonder how they might be made more meaningful for more people. In recent conversation with a friend of mine, he raised the question of whether community builds were effective in reaching the communities they were intended for. He brought up the example of a community garden and playground in his home town intended for predominantly low-income working-families. The city’s goal was unsurprisingly to engage this demographic in more healthy daily living via eating fresh produce and being more physically active in a safe community environment. He remarked, with some disdain, that the garden saw little use, at least for its intended purposes, and that the coordinators were out of touch with the more immediate needs facing the residents in the vicinity of the community space.
Are there any best practices in planning, policy, design or volunteer coordination (or any other line of work) that you think improve the efficacy of a community build? And then especially for communities of low-income and/or culturally marginalized communities (e.g. Blacks, Native American Indians, Latinos, first or second generation immigrants, etc.), what are some ways, in practice, to meet their needs?
Great thoughts, Daniel. We put together a community build guide to help users coordinate a committee, recruit and organize volunteers, etc. We even have sample timelines to make the coordination easier. As far as your other question, a good resource may be KaBOOM! as they focus on bringing community build playgrounds to communities that are often of lower income. Hope that helps. If not, contact us at playlsi.com to get more details.
Thanks much 🙂 I’ll check those out.
Thannks great blog post