More than 250 volunteers joined forces to build a multigenerational playground in six hours in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 22 as Humana and KaBOOM! kicked off their second annual fall playground tour in which they will build nine playgrounds in nine cities over the next nine weeks.
Residents of Gateway Park Apartments in northeast Portland had met weeks before to provide input and help design their new 1,710-square-foot playground, which features fitness stations, traditional kid-friendly equipment, walking paths and adult/senior stretch stations.
The playground will give children in this apartment community –who had been playing in a parking lot –a safe space to play. It also gives adults in the apartments a place to exercise.
The Portland playground is now included on a growing list of play spaces that Humana and KaBOOM! are building across the county. The playgrounds promote healthy play for people of all ages, but they also help families reconnect and create memories. Enthusiasm for these neighborhood legacies continues long after the day of the build.
“My family and I have continued to use this playground week after week since it was built last fall,” said Dorothy Jackson, of Midway, Fla., who frequents a playground Humana and KaBOOM! built last fall in Orlando, Fla. “The equipment has given me a reason to stay active and a safe place to play with my grandchildren—I love it!”
In addition to Portland, playgrounds will be built in Milwaukee, Wis.; Cleveland, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; South Charleston, W.Va.; Springfield, Mo.; Huntsville, Ala.; Baton Rouge, La., and Phoenix, Ariz. from Sept. 22 through Nov. 17.
Based in part on the success of their 2011 campaign—building eight playgrounds in eight cities in eight weeks—Humana and The Humana Foundation recently entered into a three-year alliance with KaBOOM!, running from 2012 through 2014. As part of the alliance, Humana, The Humana Foundation and KaBOOM! are now teaming up to build more than 50 playgrounds across the United States over a four-year time frame.
Additionally, The Humana Foundation is also sponsoring the KaBOOM! Playful City USA initiative, a program honoring cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative approaches to get children active, playing, and healthy.
Related Videos and Articles
- In this video, the residents of the desert community of Thermal, Calif., who named their playground Mirage, explain what it means to them and how it helps build hope for healthier, happier days ahead.
- “Humana leaves a legacy in Charlotte, Tampa”: Humana and KaBOOM! built multigenerational playgrounds in the two host cities for the 2012 political conventions.
- This AARP blog, “The Shape of Things to Come: Adult Playground,” discusses the many benefits of the multigenerational playgrounds.