Help a Virginia Community Get a New Playground

21 May

Families in a Blacksburg neighborhood are looking for your vote. They are one of ten national finalists for the KaBOOM! Promote Your Project Design Contest, a national competition hosted by the non-profit playground builder KaBOOM!.

Over 800,000 communities submitted playground designs for the contest, and now the Mt. Tabor Meadows Commons project is in the finals for up to $5,000 in playground equipment grants! Now the first-, second-, and third-place winners are being determined by a public vote.

Neighborhood resident Beth Lohman said the project started when the homeowners’ association got together to figure out what to do with the common space in their neighborhood.

“We wanted a place in our neighborhood for parents and kids to gather, share daily experiences and grow a sense of community,” Lohman said. “The mission for Mt. Tabor Meadows Commons is to create a place for unstructured play, socialization and environmental stewardship. These opportunities don’t currently exist, but by working together we can create an innovative and inspiring space that may motivate other communities to do the same.”

Since there are no public parks near the neighborhood, the residents decided that Mt. Tabor Meadows Commons should include a playground that neighborhood children could safely walk to and integrated natural elements with conventional playground equipment. Other plans include a community meeting space, an urban forest to serve as stormwater management and a community garden.

The residents worked with the Virginia Tech Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) to secure a grant with the Virginia Department of Forestry to help offset about 40% of the design costs. CDAC will use the grant to create the conceptual master plan for the site.

Justin Boyle, builder and developer for Mt. Tabor Meadows and also a current resident, said the whole process of planning the common space and working on the contest has brought the neighborhood together in a special way.

“With everyone’s busy schedule, it’s often difficult to get to know your neighbors,” Boyle said. “Because we have had to express our opinions, likes/dislikes and come to a consensus, we’ve been given an opportunity to get to acquainted with one another.”

To win an equipment grant of up to $5,000 from a top national vendor, Mt. Tabor Meadows Commons needs to gather as many online votes as possible. To cast your vote, go online click here, sign up, and vote by May 31.

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One Response to “Help a Virginia Community Get a New Playground”

  1. Heather May 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Thanks for covering this project! The coolest thing about the Mt. Tabor Meadows Commons project is that is a project totally created and organized by the residents that live there. What a great way to get to know your neighbors and do something for your community!

    Plus, KaBOOM! is an awesome organization. As they say, it starts with a playground!

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