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play / 2016

LLCF Adventure Playground: Embracing play, discovering passions, and creating community!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Light and Life Christian Fellowship Community Center

We intend to reintroduce play into the community by constructing an Adventure Playground that will create a safe environment for families to explore and grow, facilitating a sense of harmony.

Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

D. Santana Architect Firm; Department of Children, Family Services

Please describe your project proposal.

We intend to construct an Adventure Playground, taking advantage of the vacant space that used to occupy a school on our campus. The playground will extend from the already existent community garden and encompass a center for learning about arts, building, and gardening as well as incorporating free play areas for children to explore. We hope that this outreach will connect with children and families of the neighborhood to create a safe environment to learn and emphasize the importance of play.

Which of the play metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities
  • Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park
  • Per capita crime rates
  • Perceived safety

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • District 9 of Long Beach - Los Angeles County

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to play?

Through the construction of the Light and Life Community Center’s Adventure Playground, we hope to take actions steps that will foster a sense of community and ensure that Los Angeles is the best place to play. We want to create the playground that children visit in their dreams every night, comparable to Peter Pan’s Neverland or Tom Sawyer’s Island. We want to create a playground that is simple and natural, connecting children to nature and creating a place for children to explore their surroundings. Why do adventure’s only exist in storybooks? Well, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. At the Adventure Playground, we will embrace imagination and exploration giving children the opportunity to create their own exciting worlds with wooden free play and climbing structures, obstacles courses, tree houses, and building centers. In addition, we will have guided play opportunities such as geocaching and scavenger hunts as well as a myriad of learning centers with focuses on visual arts, music, and sustainable gardening.

The Adventure Playground will not only broaden the opportunities for children, but also connect parents and teens to the community. The Adventure Playground will be strictly operated by college and high school interns. Several young adults will attend to leadership positions, coordinating special events and overseeing management. Meanwhile, teens will act as mentors and counselors for the children. This will hopefully begin to counteract the difficulties of finding jobs for young adults and teach them to embrace community as well. In addition to creating job opportunities, we hope to create programs where the entire family can play. After the initial construction of the Adventure Playground, we hope to expand the opportunities for people in the community by hosting enrichment classes, after school programs, and summer camps. A major focus will be providing parenting classes while children are enjoying the playground.

The Light and Life Community Center focuses on creating outreaches that will empower the individuals of their immediate community. We are located in District 9 of the city of Long Beach, adjacent to Andy Street. This particular location is known for it’s high crime rates as well as abuse and neglect in the home. In addition, our zip code (90805) has the highest caseload for Department of Children, Family Services. We hope to counteract these statistics by strengthening families by providing a safe, learning environment. We want to increase the number of individuals and families spending their time in encouraging environments, thus decreasing crime rates.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

We will define and measure the success of the Adventure Playground in several ways. Due to the fact that our mission revolves around the idea of reconnecting children to their imaginations and reintroducing play into the community, our most prominent method of measuring success will be through tracking the number of children visiting the playground weekly. The more children there are visiting the playground, the more children exposed to the concept of interactive play. In addition, the Light and Life Community Center values young adult involvement in the community and we wish to assist with the struggles of finding a job at this age. Therefore, another way we intend to measure the success of the Adventure Playground is through tracking how many internships and jobs the Adventure Playground is able to create. To summarize, the Light and Life Community Center will define the success of the Adventure Playground through analyzing how many individuals are participating in this outreach- whether being served or serving the community.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research