Building play spaces to support community healing

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Earlier this year, we became KaBOOM!’s Partner in Play. That means we’re their primary supplier of commercial playground equipment, and we partner with them to build playspaces in communities in need across the United States, Canada and Mexico. And this summer, building playspaces is exactly what we’ve been doing. Together with KaBOOM!, we completed more than 30 playground builds during the months of June and July, and we’re on target to complete 13 more before August is over.

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It’s more than just the numbers. The playspaces that KaBOOM! builds help ensure that all kids have great, safe places to play. In fact, a single build in June–at the Abbott House in Irvington, N.Y.–impacted more than 500 kids! Abbott House is an organization that supports children in foster care, unaccompanied immigrant children, and other vulnerable populations while providing a place for healing. And the new playground is sure to deliver an additional source of restoration needed kids and their families.

Held during Morgan Stanley’s annual Global Volunteer Month, Morgan Stanley employees withstood the blistering heat to help transform a 50-year-old rundown and unsafe playground into a brightly-colored play space with slides, climbers and playground spinners. They were joined by enthusiastic Abbott House staff and volunteers who embraced the opportunity to transform the space. At the end of the day, the playground space was complete. Volunteers stood silent, many with tears in their eyes, as a group of children, recently transported to Abbott House, thanked them for their hard work.

To learn why play matters for all kids, visit KaBOOM! and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #playmatters and #PLAYceforKids. Get more details about our partnership with KaBOOM!

Landscape Structures selected “Partner in Play” by KaBOOM!

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We’re excited to share that earlier this month, KaBOOM! announced Landscape Structures as its next Partner in Play. We will begin a three-year partnership on Jan. 1, 2019, which will involve building hundreds of innovative playspaces across North America.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring all kids have great, safe places to play, and will partner with us to provide playspaces throughout communities–schools, parks, housing and beyond–to enable kids and families, regardless of zip code, to make play the easy choice. As the Partner in Play, we will serve as the primary supplier of playground equipment and partner in building playspaces in communities in need across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Learn more about our partnership with KaBOOM! here.

Guest Blog: The importance of inclusive play

In June, we awarded the Iola Kiwanis club in Iola, Kan., $25,000 in playground equipment as part of the Make a Difference Through Play contest. We’re happy to share another update from Michael Ford, member of Iola Kiwanis and community resource officer for the Iola Police Department.

The M.O.M.S. group has been a great help in planning the inclusive playground. They’re excited about the playground, but even more excited for the opportunity to educate the community about their children with special needs. During a recent fundraiser, each of the moms brought something to display about their child. Then in the presentation, they talked about how the inclusive playground would benefit their child with special needs in addition to their typically developing children.

The inclusive playground in Iola gives parents an opportunity to educate the community about the special needs of their children.

Iola is a town of 5,600 people in a county of 14,000. And out of the three surrounding counties, we’re the only one with a Wal-Mart. People from the tri-county area visit Iola for many reasons—a shopping trip, our parks, swimming competitions. And soon, our new inclusive playground. The nearest inclusive playgrounds are in Wichita, Kansas City and Joplin, all of which are about a two-hour drive away. So when parents hear about our inclusive playground, I definitely think they’ll visit Iola to give their kids a chance to play.

The design for the Iola Kiwanis club's inclusive playground.

I don’t want to say “If you build it, they’ll come,” but I think that’s the case. With the way the design is, every kid can play on this playground. I think people will be coming here; Iola will become a stop for many families.

Michael, the Iola Kiwanis club and the entire community of Iola have been busy fundraising for the inclusive playground since winning the Make a Difference through Play contest. And congratulations to the entire team are in order. As of earlier this month, Iola Kiwanis secured two additional grants—one from the Kansas Health Foundation and another from KaBOOM!—for the playground to bring them within about $15,000 of their fundraising goal!

Stay tuned for another update from Michael next month. He’ll talk more about the benefits of the partnership between Kiwanis International and Landscape Structures.