Designed by Kids, Built by Volunteers
ROCKLEDGE, Fla., Aug. 13, 2012 — Inspired by Disney Cruise Line’s nautical theme, local children were able to help draw and design their dream playground as part of a healthier living initiative in the City of Rockledge.
Children, community residents and the ROC Foundation (Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation Foundation) met with organizers from Disney and KaBOOM! to build the play space that will serve more than 1,000 local children.
The playground at Robert A. Anderson Park took Disney VoluntEARS and members of the community six hours to build and includes a climbing area that looks like the bow of a ship and search for “sunken treasure” throughout the play area.
Stepping-stones and the picket fence in the learning garden area were decorated by crew members of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, who incorporated words such as “Play,” “Fun” and “Grow” in their native languages from around the world.
“We’re really pleased that we were able to partner with the Rockledge Recreation, Open-Space and Conservation Foundation, Disney and KaBOOM! on this genuine community effort,” said Rockledge City Manager Jim McKnight. “Creating safe play spaces for our children provides them with an increased number of opportunities to forge new friendships and engage in outdoor activities when they might not have had that chance otherwise,” McKnight said. “I’m really proud of what all of these dedicated volunteers accomplished today.”
Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner, and supports the nonprofit’s vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
“Only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground,” said Leslie Goodman, vice president, Disney Citizenship. “Disney is proud to join KaBOOM!, the City of Rockledge and the Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation Foundation to build a new playground for the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active.”
Since 2011, Disney has pledged more than $3.5 million to help build 20 playgrounds and learning gardens with the participation of more than a thousand Disney VoluntEARS. At the end of 2012, Disney will have helped KaBOOM! build 30 playgrounds. These builds are an extension of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles.
Volunteerism and community outreach is an enduring part of Disney’s legacy and culture and Cast Members continuously show their support throughout Central Florida. In 2011, Disney’s VoluntEARS donated 208,000 hours of volunteer work. This translated into $831,250 worth of Disney’s EARS to You grants for various Central Florida non-profits.