MINNESOTA VIKINGS, THE TORO COMPANY AND KaBOOM! TO BUILD PLAYGROUND
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Posted by: Stephen Tucker
DESIGNED BY KIDS, BUILT BY VOLUNTEERS:
MINNESOTA VIKINGS, THE TORO COMPANY AND KaBOOM! TO BUILD PLAYGROUND IN JUST ONE DAY FOR MINNEAPOLIS CHILDREN
More than 200 volunteers from The Toro Company, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minneapolis Public Schools, the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community will join forces on Thursday, May 31 to build a new playground at Sheridan Arts Magnet School. The new playground's design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in March.
Today's kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.
The new playground will provide more than 500 children in the Minneapolis community with a safe place to play. Currently, the children who attend Sheridan Arts Magnet School and children served by the YMCA Beacons after school program only have old, out-dated playground equipment, which will be replaced.
This will be the seventh playground built in which the Vikings, Toro and KaBOOM! have teamed up in an effort to fight the play deficit and save play. The annual playground build has been a cornerstone of the Vikings community outreach since the Wilf family purchased the team. As a Minnesota-based company, Toro feels strongly about enhancing communities where employees live and work.
The playground is one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2012 in an effort to fulfill its vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
Thursday, May 31
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Kick off ceremony and volunteer deployment
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 Best viewing of playground construction
12:45 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. Vikings players and coaches participation; final construction phase
1:40 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate new play area
(Note: all times approximate)
Sheridan Arts Magnet School
1201 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55406
The entire Vikings organization—players, coaches, executives and staff;
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak;
Minneapolis City Councilmember Diane Hofstede;
Minneapolis City Councilmember Kevin Reich;
Volunteers from the Toro Company;
Hundreds of volunteers from the community
Before and after shots of the site
Volunteers assembling brightly colored playground equipment
Volunteers moving 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground
Minneapolis Public Schools
Minneapolis Public Schools promises an inspirational education experience in a safe, welcoming environment for all diverse learners to acquire the tools and skills necessary to confidently engage in the global community. Minneapolis Public Schools exists to ensure that all students learn. MPS supports student growth so they may become knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their work, personal and family lives into the 21st century.
YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis/Beacons
YMCA Beacons Centers transform public schools into active community centers during non-school hours, providing educational, recreational and cultural activities at no charge for children and families in low-income neighborhoods surrounding the Beacon schools. YMCA Beacons Centers are open after school, evenings, on weekends, during school holiday breaks and over the summer YMCA Beacons Centers use after-school fun to help low-income youth improve their academic, social and leadership skills. The YMCA Beacons Centers offer young people a place to grow through challenging activities, caring relationships, and leadership opportunities.
The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems. With sales of nearly $1.9 billion in fiscal 2011, Toro's global presence extends to more than 90 countries through its reputation of world-class service, innovation and turf expertise. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. The Toro Giving Program is committed to beautifying and preserving outdoor environments, enhancing communities and improving people's lives. Through community, industry and employee programs, the Giving Program works to support its employee's personal volunteerism interests and the communities where they live and work. More information is available at www.toro.com.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.