The Rutland Recreation & Parks Department is pleased to announce that the City of Rutland has received a Let Them Be Kids (LTBK) award to help build a playground and revitalize White’s Park. Hundreds of communities throughout Canada and the United States applied for 2013 LTBK grants, and Rutland was one of only 30 to receive an award.
The grant matches funds already donated to build the new playground. These funds were donated over the past four years by community members who saw the need for a large playground facility at White’s Park.
“For years we’ve recognized that White’s needs new playground facilities,” said Ejay Bishop, superintendent of the Rutland Recreation & Parks Department. “We’re proud that the community has supported this project, and we’re doubly pleased to be one of only a few communities chosen by Let Them Be Kids to receive this award.”
“I’m thrilled that Rutland received such a competitive award from Let Them Be Kids,” said Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras. “It really says something about our City when both the citizens of Rutland and an international organization Believe in Rutland.”
The community is encouraged to participate in both planning and construction of the playground. The “Build Day” is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 8am-1pm. Leading up to Build Day, children will be asked to help design the playground through a process that the LTBK’s program refers to as a “dot-mocracy:” they will vote on various playground components and elements that they would like included in the new playground. The playground company will then use these results to design a playground that includes the most popular elements. The playground will also include several adaptive components.
“We want to build an inclusive playground that can be used by all children in the community, no matter their abilities,” said Cindi Wight, Rutland’s recreation director.
In putting the project together, Rec Department staff worked in conjunction with several community members to come up with the following project outcomes:
- Unite the community to enhance pride and ownership of Rutland City by bringing everyone together to create a positive change and continue the momentum in creating a more vibrant community.
- Encourage our youth to take an active role in their community that will in the long-term create future community leaders, by providing them with a short-term opportunity to foster self-growth, independence, and leadership skills.
- Create a safe, healthy and sustainable recreational environment to engage people of all ages and abilities and promote physical activity in an outdoor social hub.
Let Them Be Kids is a non-profit charitable program that acts as a catalyst to create stronger communities through building playgrounds in areas of need. Led by founder Ian Hill, the organization's mission is to educate, equip and inspire community members to affect positive change within their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. Since 2008, the Canadian-based LTBK has supported over 160 projects across North America. For more information, go to www.ltbk.ca.
Located at the intersection of Avenues B and C in Rutland City, White’s Park is home to the City's swimming pool, five tennis courts, a basketball court and baseball field. The park was once home to a wooden playground that was dismantled in 2006 due to safety issues.
To sign up to be a volunteer for the Rutland City White’s Park – Community PlayGround Build, register at the Rutland – Let Them Be Kids blog.