National non-profit KaBOOM! hosts playground design competition

Communities Compete for $5,000 Playground Equipment Grant

In order to help communities build playgrounds and spur innovation and creativity during the playground design process, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit making children and communities healthier by creating great places to play, is hosting a playground design competition.

KaBOOM! already provides free guidance and expertise to communities building playgrounds through its online suite of KaBOOM! Do-It-Yourself Tools, which walk individuals building playgrounds step-by-step through our proven community-build process.

Now, to encourage communities to get creative when it comes to the design of their playground, KaBOOM! is hosting a playground design competition in which communities can win $5,000 towards playground equipment.

Beginning today, and ending Friday April 30, communities can submit their playground designs online at www.kaboom.org. Then a panel of playful judges will look at each submission and rate it in regards to how creative, innovative, practical, comprehensive, age appropriate and fun it is. Regardless of who wins, all participants will get expert feedback on their final designs, getting their projects another step closer to success.

The Playful judging panel includes:

  • Ahmed Hassan - Landscape Designer, Host of DIY Network’s “Yard Crashers” -- Loves creating outdoor spaces where children connect with nature. Has kids of his own and wants to make sure every kid has the opportunity to play outside everyday.

  • Antawn Jamison - Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Star -- Funded two KaBOOM! playgrounds and has volunteered to help build two more.

  • Alex Griffith - Boy Scout -- Used KaBOOM! Do-It-Yourself Tools to build playground in Russia.

  • Caressa Cameron - Miss America 2010 -- During the Miss America Pageant, Caressa spoke to the importance of children playing every day.

  • Carter Oosterhouse - Host of HGTV’s “Carter Can” and “Red Hot and Green”. Carter is also founder of Carter’s Kids; an organization dedicated to building and developing community parks and playgrounds in low income areas in an effort to promote healthy living.

  • Dustin Brown - Los Angeles Kings NHL Star/ Team USA Olympic Hockey Team and KaBOOM! fundraiser. Dustin donates $50 to KaBOOM! for each of his body checks. So far, he’s donated more than $25,000 to the cause. Last season Brown had 285 body checks for a donation of $14,250.

  • Heidi Stevens - Parenting Columnist, Chicago Tribune -- Regularly writes about the importance of play and playgrounds in children’s lives

  • Paige Johnson - Playscapes Design Blogger – Uses her blog, playgrounddesigns.blogspot.com, to document interesting playgrounds across the country and advocate for innovative playground designs.

  • Rick Baker - Former Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL – As Mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick instituted a program to ensure that every child had a playground within a safe half-mile walk. Mayor Baker’s efforts led the way for St. Petersburg to be named a KaBOOM! Playful City USA community.

  • Tim Sullivan - President, PTO Today Inc. & School Family Media – Tim is a recognized leader in all aspects of parent involvement in schools, and has spent his entire career in the education world. He’s a big believer in the power of parent groups and the importance of playgrounds, especially school playgrounds, in helping children live happy healthy lives.

  • Once the judges have determined their favorites, KaBOOM! will post the top 5-10 on the website and voting will begin on Monday May 17. To secure the top prize, up to $5,000 in playground equipment from a top national vendor, finalists will need to garner as many online votes as possible by May 31.

    This contest comes immediately on the heels of an incredibly successful video voting competition in which 44 communities created compelling project pitch videos to try and garner online votes.

    The three playground projects with the most votes will receive equipment grants worth up to $5,000 from a KaBOOM! Preferred Vendor. KaBOOM! Preferred Vendors have been selected because of their high industry standards, their consistent installation quality, their national reach, and their commitment to playground innovation. They include:

    Project supporters can vote once a day for the duration of the contest supporters by going online to kaboom.org to cast their vote. The voting will continue through Monday May 31.