Olenka Villarreal received the prestigious Palo Alto Tall Tree Outstanding Citizen Volunteer Award for her exceptional civic contributions and service to the community, specifically for her work to design, fund and build Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto. Heralded as the nations most innovative and inclusive playground, Olenka is the heart and magic behind the playground. Thank you to the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto Weekly for recognizing her tireless work.
Olenka Villarreal was honored to receive a Bay Area Jefferson Award, sponsored by KPIX, San Francisco’s CBS. The team came out to Magical Bridge Playground to interview Olenka about her work to bring innovation and inclusive play to Palo Alto. In the segment, you’ll also meet Olenka’s two beautiful daughters, Emma and Ava.
Artist Jen Lewin wins a 2016 CODA Award for the Magical Harp, an interactive instrument played by passing your body through 24 low-voltage diode LEDs that shine from the top of the delicate arch to the ground. Much like plucking the string of a harp, passing through the beams triggers custom circuitry and sensors to produce musical notes. When crowds flock to it and people start to play independently, the group’s participation in a musical symphony.
Magical Bridge Playground was awarded one of the largest holiday fund grants from the Palo Alto Weekly’s record breaking 19th Annual Holiday Fund for its aim to design and build a new kind of playground that will serve all children, those with and without disabilities. Upon receiving the award presented by Palo Alto Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson, Olenka said, “We want to change the playing field — literally.”