FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Jill Asher
Magical Bridge Foundation
jill@magicalbridge.org

Announcing Magical Bridge Playground Coming to Mountain View’s Rengstorff Park
Google Makes First Gift to Build Inclusive Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA January 3, 2018 – Magical Bridge Foundation has partnered with the City of Mountain View to build a new, inclusive public play space for people of all ages and abilities. The City of Mountain View will allocate $1 million for the $4.7 million site, planned for Rengstorff Park. Google has made an anchor gift by committing an additional $150,000 to launch the project. The remaining funds will be raised by Magical Bridge Foundation through grants and corporate, foundation and community giving. Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View will serve neighbors from many socioeconomic groups, and this site was specifically selected for its easy access to public transit and community-building features that include a pool, skate park, picnic areas and forthcoming expansion. Magical Bridge Foundation hopes to fully fund the project by the summer of 2018 and open to the public in late 2019.

Creating a Truly Inclusive and Welcoming Place for Everyone in Mountain View. Magical Bridge Playground creates more inclusive communities with each of their innovative mindfully designed playgrounds by meeting the needs of residents and visitors who’ve otherwise been excluded because of physical disability, cognitive function, or age.

“Magical Bridge Playground is the latest demonstration of how people and organizations can come together to positively impact the lives of everyone in a community,” said Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg. “In Mountain View, we truly believe that community spaces should be welcoming and accessible, and this project embodies the notion of a community for all.”

Google is one of the world’s largest technology companies and headquartered in Mountain View, a city renowned as a vibrant community which provides various benefits to its businesses and families. As the anchor donor for Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View, Google lends its strength and support to bring truly inclusive and innovative spaces to serve the community it calls home. The City Council is guided by the goal of inclusion in all areas of public service, committing to projects and policies that will make Mountain View an even stronger community in the years ahead.

Why will Mountain View be Magical Bridge’s Fifth Location? Magical Bridge Foundation co-founder Olenka Villarreal says that the values of this city align remarkably well with generous industry leaders like Google, who continue to showcase their social impact on a global stage.

“It’s easy to be drawn into the magic of Mountain View through its diverse community members and strong local leadership,” Villarreal said. “Each additional Magical Bridge Playground helps create new friendships by those who live nearby and those who visit. Together, we value each person and want to give them the freedom to play, meet and connect. We’re thrilled to kick off this site with anchor gifts of $150,000 by Google and $1 million by the City of Mountain View, and we’re excited to work with the City, county and community to raise the additional funds needed to make this playground a reality soon!”

Access is a critical component of Magical Bridge Playgrounds, all designed to be both physically and socially inclusive for children and adults of varying physical and cognitive abilities. One in every five Americans live with some form of disability, making it the largest minority group in the country. While the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 made radical cultural shifts, 25 years later our public parks do not adequately accommodate or welcome autistic, cognitively challenged, visually and hearing impaired, physically limited, and aging populations. Magical Bridge is changing that, using nearly a decade of research, insights from inclusion specialists and advocacy from engaged organizations, corporations, and school partners to create dynamic spaces that welcome everyone.

The Mountain View Magical Bridge playground is a hopeful sign to 24-year resident Fran Goodwin. Her eldest son Scott, who has autism and uses an iPad to communicate, will graduate from a special education school next year. Goodwin says finding spaces for her son to play, explore, climb and make friends has been difficult.

“Playing together is so important to build awareness of differences but more importantly to show what kids have in common. Friendships that happen in the playground continue at school and beyond,” Goodwin explains. “Having a playground built specifically for kids AND adults like Scott is so amazing. Having a place that is so popular for families without developmental disabilities, but that welcomes us as well, is such a relief. We feel this is OUR space to play, to belong and to share with kids and adults who don’t have disabilities. That’s where the magic happens!”

Visit Magical Bridge Foundation for information about the playground and ways to support the project. If your company, foundation or community group would like to partner with Magical Bridge Foundation, contact Jill Asher at jill@magicalbridge.org.

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About Magical Bridge Foundation
Magical Bridge Foundation is a 501(c) non-profit organization based in the heart of Silicon Valley, advocating for and bringing to life innovative and truly inclusive community and school playgrounds. Magical Bridge playgrounds delight and welcome everyone, regardless of ability, disability, size or age. Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto opened to the public in April 2015, and is heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground. In addition to Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View, playground projects are currently underway in northern California communities of Redwood City, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, and the Palo Alto Unified School District. Locations outside the Bay Area for parks and school playgrounds will be announced in 2018. Kindly visit Magical Bridge online at http://www.magicalbridge.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.

About Mountain View, CA
The City of Mountain View, Calif. is home to more than 79,000 residents in the center of Silicon Valley. Our City is known for its diverse community, compassion and great quality of life.