MEDIA ADVISORY/PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Kids Will Design New Playground Coming to MLK Jr. Park in September
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy: Sarah Larkin | 716-861-0716 | Sarah@bfloparks.org
BlueCross BlueShield Western of New York: Amber Hartmann|716-291-5685| Hartmann.Amber@bcbswny.com
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation: Carly Strachan | 313-885-1895 | firstname.lastname@example.org
KaBOOM!: Tamara Grider | 202-464-6196 | email@example.com
Kids from Buffalo will put crayons to paper and draw their dream playground, which will ultimately become a reality with support from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. This effort is underway in partnership with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Elements from their drawings will be incorporated into design options for the playground. The community will then choose the final design of the playground they will help build on Friday, September 20 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Buffalo.
Design Day is the first meeting that brings the community together to design all aspects of the playground build project and to factor in the ideas from the kids who will benefit from the new play space.
This playground is part of a broader effort led by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr., Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and KaBOOM! to meet an urgent need to make play the easy choice for kids and families. Through this partnership, KaBOOM! is creating an oasis where kids feel valued and loved, and where their potential is supported, nurtured and celebrated.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 2nd
4:30 p.m. Kids design their dream playground
5:30 p.m. Community volunteers participate in planning meeting
WHERE: Buffalo Museum of Science, Cummings Room
1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14211
About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system consisting of more than 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Conservancy is an independent not-for-profit, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million visits occur in Buffalo’s Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted more than 150 years ago, it’s our nation’s first urban park system. Since the 2004 groundbreaking public-private partnership between the Conservancy, City of Buffalo and Erie County, the Conservancy has held responsibility for the management and care of these nationally registered historic green spaces and continues today to assist the City in bringing recognition to its collective renaissance. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America, The Guardian publication named Buffalo’s Olmsted park system as one of the best park systems in the world, and in 2018 the Conservancy set a Guinness World Record in historic Bidwell Parkway. www.bfloparks.org
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
Six parks: Cazenovia Park, Delaware Park, Front Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Riverside Park at, and South Park
Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony
About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, BlueCross BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueCross BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueCross BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of our community.
About Blue Fund
Blue Fund, funded solely by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, awards major grants in Western New York, totaling approximately $1 million to $3 million annually, to organizations and initiatives that have a positive impact on key health areas and will demonstrate enhanced measurable outcomes for community health metrics. These include behavioral health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, health care workforce development, healthy children and the opioid epidemic. Blue Fund complements BlueCross BlueShield’s current corporate giving program of partnerships and sponsorships which saw community investments of more than $2 million in Western New York in 2018.
About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engage over 1.5 million volunteers and serve nearly 10 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids