And the winners are…

We’re excited to announce that Wheaton Park District in Wheaton, Ill., is the grand prize winner of the Together We Play™ essay contest for their Sensory Garden Playground Initiative!

We’re also proud to announce the five runner-up winners of Together We Play:

  1. City of Gig Harbor, Wash.
  2. The FUNdation, South Elgin, Ill.
  3. Princess Alexa Foundation, Keller, Texas
  4. Kate’s Kause, Elmira, Ontario, Canada
  5. City of Lewiston, Maine

Keep working toward your goal. Your community–especially the children–will appreciate the work you’re doing to create a place where people of all abilities can play together. Stay inspired; check back to watch the progress of the contest projects here.

Final announcement coming soon

We are finalizing a few last details before announcing the winners of the Together We Play™ contest. Thank you all for your interest in the contest, and even more for your commitment to inclusive play. We expect to make the final announcement of the GRAND PRIZE and RUNNER UP winners within the next 24 to 48 hours. Keep checking back!

The final countdown

Next week, we will unveil the winners of the Together We Play™essay contest. The GRAND PRIZE winner, which will win $100,000 in inclusive playground equipment from Landscape Structures and $50,000 in playground design, project development and educational program services from Shane’s Inspiration. Additionally, we will award five RUNNER UP winners with $10,000 in inclusive play equipment from Landscape Structures and $50,000 in playground design, project development and educational program services from Shane’s Inspiration.

We’re excited to be so close to the final announcement! It has been great to read all of the essay submissions, and hard to whittle all of them down to only six. But as we reach out to each of the communities, we’re sure that they’re all very deserving.

There will be one RUNNER UP winner from each of the five regions outlined in the map below. The GRAND PRIZE winner will also come out of one of these regions. So… which region do you think will be awarded the $100,000 in inclusive playground equipment and playground programming?!

Guest Blog: Connecting with communities

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Hear from Stephani Victor, Paralympic gold medalist and Together We Play™ essay contest judge, as she makes her way through the piles of amazing essay submissions.

I am deeply moved by all of the essays I have read and feel equally inspired by the expansive vision of so many applicants and their ability to identify and address their community’s needs. I feel a great sense of pride for our country and, as an athlete for Team USA, have had the privilege to travel all over the U.S. Judging this inclusive playground contest has felt like journey back to so many places I have visited. Now I have a chance to connect with those communities in a meaningful way as I read about their dreams to bring inclusive play for all to their community. I am really grateful to share in this magnificent project to make dreams a reality.

Judging has begun

Once again, we want to thank everyone who submitted an essay. We are blown away by the essays, the letters of support, photos and videos that were received! It is clear that you all share our commitment of inclusive playgrounds and providing play for all abilities.

The last day we accepted essays, Aug. 1, was beyond busy! They were coming in every two minutes, and we received them up until the last minute. We received hundreds of essays–43 states and 4 provinces were represented!

The judging process has already begun. We are currently doing an internal review of all the essays, and then will pass them along to our judges, Cynthia Gentry, Stephani Victor and Scott Rains.