Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded the City of Milton a $20,000 Let’s Play City Construction Grant as announced September 9, 2013. The City of Milton received the grant because it was selected as a 2013 Playful City USA community by KaBOOM! on May 7 and will use the grant to build a new playground with community involvement.
The grant is part of Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. In 2011, as part of Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group made a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM!, communities will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.
City of Milton Mayor Brett Frazier commented on the grant award announcement by stating, “As Mayor, it has been my priority, and that of our fellow Council members and Parks and Recreation Commission members, that we continue to strategically invest into our City’s park system. This grant is another example of how we can make Milton’s parks even better, without taxing residents to do so. I am grateful that Milton was one of 25 communities in the nation that has been selected for this grant, as it demonstrates how progressive we are as a City in terms of investing in our parks and providing a wide variety of recreational opportunities within each park for children and families to enjoy.”
The City of Milton applied for 2013 Playful City USA recognition and also submitted a Let’s Play grant application to Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM!. The City of Milton was selected to receive a Let’s Play City Construction Grant among the 217 communities that earned Playful City USA status in 2013. Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children. KaBOOM! created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the play deficit among children and it is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.
The grant will be used to construct a playground at Crossridge Park near the new parking lot that was installed to accommodate those who recreate at the park and at the Parker YMCA, which will be open this fall. The City of Milton is required to utilize the KaBOOM! Community-Build Model, which will entail the assistance of volunteers in the community. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact City Hall at (608) 868-6900. The anticipated build date will take place in May of 2014.
Unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation. Via Let’s Play grants and projects through 2012, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! built or improved 1,154 playgrounds, benefitting an estimated 2.8 million children during the lifetime of the playgrounds. People are encouraged to visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make their communities more active and playful.