Santa Clara County is becoming a LOT more MAGICAL! The Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara approved $7M in funds to help build five new Magical Bridge Playground projects.
Supervisor Mike Wassarman approved $2M to fund Magical Bridge Playground in Morgan Hill’s Community Park. This will be the most southern location of current Magical Bridge projects and will serve the Morgan Hill, Gilroy and South San Jose communities. The city of Morgan Hill has committed $2M in funds, and corporate donors and foundations include the Acton Family Giving and Walmart Foundation. Magical Bridge Foundation is looking to raise an additional $1M, with a goal of opening to the public in late 2019.
President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Joe Simitian approved $1.7M for Magical Bridge Playground in Mountain View’s Rengstorff Park. The city of Mountain View has committed $1M and initial corporate donors include LinkedIn and Google. Magical Bridge Foundation is actively engaging with corporate and philanthropic sponsors and donors, with a target opening in early 2020.
In addition, Supervisor Joe Simitian approved $300k which is being allocated to develop a school playground mindfully designed for elementary school students of all abilities and disabilities. Addison Elementary School in Palo Alto will serve as a pilot school yard program, leveraging the research and philosophy of the Magical Bridge model. Magical Bridge Foundation plans to announce truly inclusive school playground solutions and options for ALL schools in mid 2018. If you are interested in making your school playgrounds inclusive for every student, regardless of ability or disability, please complete the form on the Magical Bridge website (bottom of the page). We will be in touch with you later this year!
Supervisor Dave Cortese approved $1M to fund Magical Bridge Playground Sunnyvale’s Fair Oak Park. The city of Sunnyvale has committed $1.8M and initial corporate sponsors include LinkedIn and Google. Magical Bridge Foundation is actively engaging with corporate and philanthropic sponsors and donors, and hopes to open to the public in 2019.
Supervisor Cindy Chavez approved $2M for Magical Bridge Playground in San Jose’s Emma Prusch Park. Magical Bridge Foundation will share additional information about this project in February 2018.
The Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara established the All-Inclusive Playground Grant Program (AIPG) in 2017 to provide grants to local cities, school districts, non-profits or other governmental entities interested in building all-inclusive playgrounds in their communities located within Santa Clara County. AIPG served as a catalyst to communities within the County to provide facilities of regional significance for seniors, children and parents with disabilities.
“We’re making real progress in creating playgrounds for kids and adults of all abilities – spaces where everyone feels welcome, and has a place to meet friends, have fun and play. This is how we as a local government can have a real impact on our communities. And I am particularly pleased that our Board was unanimous in its enthusiasm for developing parks that truly serve the entire community,” said Joe Simitian, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
Magical Bridge Playgrounds are designed to be both physically and socially inclusive for children and adults of varying physical and cognitive abilities. One in every five Americans today lives with a visible or invisible disability, making it the largest minority group in the country and growing daily. While the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 made important cultural shifts, 25 years later our public parks do little to incorporate the needs of 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 truly delight everyone.
“With five new Magical Bridge Playgrounds in the pipeline, we’re excited to kick off our collaboration with Santa Clara County and each of the cities involved, raising the additional funds needed to make these playgrounds a reality. Each additional inclusive playground helps create new friendships and, with each new playground, we build more inclusive communities,” says Olenka Villarreal, founder of Palo Alto’s pioneer Magical Bridge playground.
About Magical Bridge Foundation
Magical Bridge Foundation is a 501C3 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 Foundation is uniquely effective in bridging the gap between city and philanthropic funds and ensuring project success. 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 continues to be heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground. Playground projects are currently underway in northern California communities of Redwood City, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, 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 https://www.magicalbridge.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.