Want to make the heart of Silicon Valley beat even stronger? Get a Girl Scout on it!
We’re thrilled to announce the third Magical Bridge Playground will be built in Sunnyvale, thanks to a passionate petition by teen Esther Lucas of Girl Scouts of Northern California Troop #601666 and city council that heard her call to action.
The City of Sunnyvale announced that they’ll invest a generous gift of $1.8 million to construct a Magical Bridge Playground in Fair Oaks Park. The commitment came after seeing Lucas’s Change.org appeal to Sunnyvale’s Mayor Glenn Hendricks and the City Council to incorporate inclusive play spaces in the City’s 20-year plan to update parks.
The partnership will help ensure that Sunnyvale’s nearly 150,000 residents and the thousands more who visit each year will have access to the power of play – all in a 15.2-acre park where locals already gather to skate, play basketball and volleyball, and cool off in water features.
“Magical Bridge Playground embodies the innovative and collaborative spirit Sunnyvale is known for. We are truly proud of the opportunity to bring an inclusive playground to our community, and even prouder that a young Sunnyvale resident encourages us to pursue the idea,” Mayor Glenn Hendricks said.
Lucas’s play activism was sparked when she spoke with a neighbor who was driving her child to a Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto. The Girl Scout is pursuing her Gold Award and thought this project was a perfect way to invest in all kids right where she lives.
“The concept for Magical Bridge Playground was created out of the same passion that Girl Scout Esther Lucas showed when she raised her voice through a petition to bring inclusive play to her hometown. “It was my dream to spearhead a playground to be fun, innovative and welcoming for everyone,” Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge founder Olenka Villarreal says. “We have an opportunity to bring magical play spaces to communities to serve people of all ages and abilities, and we know that the impact will spread quickly, changing not just our neighborhoods and towns, but our whole nation. We are so grateful and excited that The City of Sunnyvale shares that profound vision.”
There’s much to be done. We will be busy raising the remaining $2.4 million necessary to construct a Magical Bridge Playground in Sunnyvale, calling on foundations, local businesses, and community groups to join us seeing the Girl Scout’s dream and the city council’s plan through to ribbon cutting. Esther Lucas isn’t done yet, either. She’s got more people to meet – this time at the playground.
“Truly inclusive play is important to me because everyone deserves to have fun, and it is important for kids to feel like they are a part of the community. Also, everybody can socialize and can develop a great friendship,” Lucas said.
To learn more about Magical Bridge Playground in Sunnyvale and ways to support the community project, visit http://www.magicalbridge.org/sunnyvale. If your company or foundation is interested in sponsoring a zone or would like to learn more about ways to partner with Magical Bridge Foundation, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.