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play / 2014

Tickleberry Place Indoor Play Gym

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Tickleberry Place

@tickleberryfun wants to provide a fun, eco-friendly, and healthy play space for kids and families in #southla and #centralla area

Please describe yourself.

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

Provide a eco- friendly healthy indoor play and educational space for kids and families, that also serves organic & healthy foods.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • South LA

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Tickleberry Place will be a eco-friendly indoor play gym located in the South Los Angeles.The play space will provide kids (infant to 10 years) jungle gym, toys, art, reading, and science. There will be a small cafe with healthy foods and beverages and a section for birthday parties. In addition, there will be fun educational classes for kids and parents. Most importantly, Tickleberry will provide support system for parents to connect them to other parents in the area. Tickleberry will create a community space for families in the area.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

We will fundraise the funds and become certified as B Corporation. Once we have the funds we can do the following: Obtain a lease or purchase property Purchase equipment Design the space for the needs of the families Marketing and awareness

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to PLAY today? In 2050?

Currently, children in South LA experience many injustices related to play. There are only a handful of indoor play facilities in the area. The play facilities that do exist promote play but also promote unhealthful eating, such as Chuck-E-Cheese and the play gyms at McDonalds. Lack of green space, play space and healthy food choice options all contribute to the growing rate of obesity among children in LA County. Tickleberry Place will combat the trifold issues of lack of play space, lack of green space, and lack of healthy food by providing a space where children and families can eat, play, and learn about healthy living. Our children our exposed to a large number of harsh chemicals and toxic materials. Tickleberry Place will be a play space made from environmentally friendly materials. In addition, Tickleberry Place will use products and methods to keep the play space toxic free. This is particularly important as about 1 in 11 children have asthma in Los Angeles.

Children can play in the play gym or participate in community building games facilitated by the Tickleberry team. When children are done playing,they can eat healthy organic produce grown in Tickleberry’s garden. Food will be healthful but also culturally relevant to the majority black and Latino residents in the neighborhood near Tickleberry.

What will distinguish Tickleberry from other indoor play gyms is its focus on education for families. Through a partnership with educational organizations, Tickleberry will offer classes, workshops, and events for parents on topics such as gardening, healthy eating, sustainable living, and healthy child development.

Our goal is for Tickleberry Place to be a community hub for health and wellness. With a local space that caters toward fun and well being, Tickleberry Place will help make LA the best place to learn in 2050.

Whom will your project benefit?

This will benefit families in South and Central Los Angeles, but it is not limited to other neighborhoods and communities.

Tickleberry Place was designed to meet the unique needs of South LA. Historically, South LA has experienced violence, lack of access to safe play spaces to children, limited access to healthy foods. This limits opportunities for children to play and for parents to connect in a public space about values such as healthy living for families. Tickleberry caters to this demographic of Black and Latino families with children ages 6 months to 10 years old. Tickleberry begins in South LA as it is the highest need region for issues of food access and play space. However, the location of Tickleberry makes it accessible to the greater Los Angeles’ Community. Tickleberry welcomes participation from families across the city. Eventually, it is the goal of the founders to expand Tickleberry into other regions of the city, so that families will not have to travel far for safe, environmentally friendly, healthful play spaces for children.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

As of right now, we don’t have any partners or collaborators on the project. Having a partner would be a great opportunity for collaborating on this cause of creating healthy and sustainable play spaces in Los Angeles. We are open to having partners and are looking for them.

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Play” metrics?

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods
  • Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Be the top quality informal spaces for play in South and Central Los Angeles being accessible for open play to the public during the week and on weekends

Be considered a safe and healthy place for kids and families to play by having staff available and managing the facility at all times. As a indoor place, it is easier to watch over children.

Provide local residents after school programs, workshops, and actives, for learning about environment, science, art, and healthy eating.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

Raise at least $500,000 to fund opening the facility Gain 100,000 followers and supporters in the community (government, customers) Obtain facility location with parking in the South/Central Los Angeles area that is within ¼ mile of the residents and is easily accessible for residents within 2 mile radius Meet the requirements for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green building Certification Open doors in Spring 2015 Become certified as a B-corporation.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

The first lesson is that there are not any indoor play spaces in the South and Central Los Angeles Area. Because of the lack of indoor play for the families, we have to travel outside of the area to obtain it.

The second lesson is that the South and Central Los angeles neighborhoods are considered food deserts with not many places to buy healthy organic foods or many business that provide healthy, eco-friendly, and sustainable services.

Having a background in User Experience, improving people’s experiences and making things easier, created the idea for Tickleberry Place. Tickleberry Place will provide a solution to these lessons by creating a fun indoor place for families that also provides a healthy and environmental alternative.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

Opening Tickleberry Place will be achievable within a year because we simply have to gain the funds, find a location, build and design, and open doors.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

The first major challenge we anticipate is gaining enough capital/funding to finish the project in the time frame. With the challenge of gaining the capital we need, it pushes back when we can start to provide this experience for families.

The second major challenges to anticipate is finding the perfect location to meet our needs of having at least 4000 sq ft, accessible from the public transportation, and has plenty of parking space.

We would like to obtain a space that is in south LA but accessible to the 10 and 101 freeways so that families from the greater Los Angeles area can easily access Tickleberry Place.

This items affect our customer experience and can make it a challenge for them, if these requirements are not met. The space needs to be easily accessible, therefore creating a seamless experience.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach