KABOOM! and Partners Launch Green Playground Initiative in Walker County, Texas

KABOOM! joins Boys & Girls Club of Walker County, Powell Foundation, City of Huntsville, and Huntsville Independent School District to kickstart seven community-led, green playground projects at elementary schools, parks, and Boys & Girls Club

Washington D.C. (March 7, 2022) · 

Today, KABOOM!, the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity for good, announced a new initiative in Walker County, Texas to support child health and environmental resilience through a series of green playground projects. The initiative will be led in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Walker County (BGCWC), City of Huntsville, and Huntsville Independent School District (HISD) and is made possible through a $1.5 million grant from Powell Foundation. The two-year effort will develop public playspaces for children and families.

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the critical importance of safe, engaging playspaces for children to develop and thrive. This need is particularly urgent as communities grapple with the ongoing impact of the pandemic on their residents’ well-being.

“The Powell Foundation is thrilled to support the creation of accessible public spaces where Huntsville children and families can connect, learn, and play,” said Eleisha Nelson-Reed, Executive Director of the Powell Foundation. “We are especially pleased that this project represents a collaborative effort involving local Walker County partners and community members, those who can best give voice to the Huntsville community’s most pressing needs.”

“Boys & Girls Club is so grateful for this partnership that allows us to continue to build resources at our Clubhouse for fulfilling our mission,” said Michelle Spencer, CEO of BGCWC. “With all the challenges that families have faced during this pandemic, giving our children opportunities to get outside, play, and just be kids is a top priority.”

Over the next several months, the initiative will engage local community members to conduct in-depth surveys and focus groups to generate environmentally and culturally appropriate designs for each playspace. Uniquely, the effort will incorporate sustainable design elements like spaces for environmental education, the planting of sustainable, native plants and features to improve stormwater management on site. Each project will culminate in the community-led installation of the playspace.

“The City of Huntsville is proud to work with our local partners to provide these additional recreation opportunities for our citizens,” said Aron Kulhavy, City Manager of Huntsville. “We are very thankful to the Powell foundation and KABOOM! for their investment and partnership in our community.”

“We appreciate being included in this partnership that will bring new playspaces to each of our four elementary schools in Walker County,” said William Roberts, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Operations of HISD. “In May of 2021, HISD voters overwhelmingly approved a school bond that will bring much needed upgrades to facilities across the school district. This opportunity comes at just the right time and aligns perfectly with our district goal to provide improved learning environments for the children of Huntsville ISD.”

In addition, two unique partners will support the sustainable goals this project. Falon Mihalic, Landscape Architect at Falon Land Studio, will design environmentally resilient elements for each playspace. Trees for Houston will also provide their expertise and planting of sustainable, native trees that will beautify each playground and community.

Locations for the new playspaces will include:

  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Eastham-Thomason Park
  • Emancipation Park
  • Huntsville Elementary School
  • Samuel W Houston Elementary School
  • Estella Stewart Elementary School

Green Playground Initiative Partners

Boys & Girls Club of Walker County is a non-profit afterschool and summer camp organization affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. We believe it takes a safe environment, skilled staff and high-quality programs to ensure kids have a great future. For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have relentlessly provided young people with the guidance to be innovative, brave and confident. We are boys & girls & tech & tutoring & fitness & arts & music and so much more." Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. We provide direct services to over 300 youth annually and over 1000 youth in outreach and virtual programs. To learn more about our youth services, visit and like/share our content at and

About City of Huntsville
The City of Huntsville mission is to provide, facilitate and regulate services, facilities and infrastructure for citizens, customers, visitors, businesses and state agencies, in a friendly, efficient, fair, honest and competent manner with quality and forethought in order to maintain and enhance the quality of life and the achievement of their vision. The City of Huntsville’s goal is public service, they believe in commitment – not just to their job, but to their faith, their beliefs, and their family. Today, the city of Huntsville offers visitors an array of discoveries – history, nature, prominent state institutions, and antiques – all mixed with hometown hospitality. The small-town, historic flair of Huntsville brings new meaning to ‘Texas Charm’. To learn more about the City of Huntsville visit

About Huntsville ISD
Huntsville Independent School District is committed to Building Champions –in and out of the classroom. HISD’s mission is to establish a partnership with students, parents and the community to provide an equitable education system characterized by a safe environment and academic excellence to empower all students with knowledge, competencies, and personal qualities to live and work successfully as lifelong learners and responsible citizens with a global perspective. Today HISD serves 5,700 students in grades Pre-K through 12. Offering a full day Pre-K, advanced academics and college options along with a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, students are achieving. In addition to traditional learning, HISD offers personalized learning options through virtual magnet and flexible alternative education programs. To learn more about HISD visit

About The Powell Foundation
The Powell Foundation is a private, Houston-based family foundation focused on improving the lives of Harris, Travis, and Walker County residents. The Foundation seeks to foster community well-being by empowering children, families, and individuals with the conditions, supports, and skills necessary to thrive. It is especially focused on supporting the entire public education continuum, from early childhood development through post-secondary education completion. Visit for more information.

KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to create or transform 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the $250 million plan to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at and join the conversation at,, and LinkedIn.