Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM! Partner Again with Leading Organizations to Help Build More Equitable Places to Play in Detroit’s Palmer Park

Following last year's successful playground build in Stein Park, local city and community leaders unite again to ensure even more kids have a great, new space to play

Washington, DC (April 22, 2019) · 

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the City of Detroit, The Skillman Foundation, General Motors and the Quicken Loans Community Fund will join KaBOOM! for the second time to build a playground and help ensure all kids have a safe place to play. The new playground will help make play the easy choice for kids and families in Detroit to enjoy, an area that has experienced years of disinvestment – particularly in communities of color – that has led to inequitable access to play.

The group first partnered in Detroit’s Cody Rouge neighborhood to build a playground last year in Stein Park, which brought together hundreds of volunteers from the community and partner organizations. The Stein Park project introduced a playground, and also an innovative, challenging adventure course, designed to meet the needs of older kids – helping them to continue to discover, explore and collaborate through play. Based on that positive community impact, the partners are working together again as part of a continued effort to address the unmet need for more equitable and safe playspaces for kids in the Detroit area. This project is part of a broader, collective effort to help redevelop neighborhoods across Detroit through creating more kid-centric spaces for families.

The playground will be built in August. The project begins with Design Day in May, where kids from the community surrounding Palmer Park will come together to draw their dream playground. The final playground design will be based on their drawings and will provide a community with more than 1,000 kids with a great, safe place to play.

“We are excited to once again partner with KaBOOM! and these local leaders to bring safe play areas to kids in their neighborhoods,” said James Boyle, Vice President of Programs and Communications at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Every child deserves access to equitable, safe and creative play spaces. It’s important that we meet them where they are.”

“Play is not a luxury, but an essential part of childhood that helps all grow up happy, healthy and resilient. We know that many kids across Detroit aren’t getting the play they need to thrive,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “We are thrilled to partner with these local leaders to ensure that the kids who are often overlooked have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and our partners for opening the doors for all kids to have the childhood they deserve through play.”

This is the sixth playground to be built as part of a broader effort led by the Built to Play Initiative, sponsored by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, that is to give kids more opportunities for free play through the construction of over 40 innovative play spaces and 20 skateparks in Western New York and Southeast Michigan; and KaBOOM!’s second project with The Skillman Foundation, General Motors and the Quicken Loans Community Fund.


KaBOOM!: Tamara Grider | 202-464-6196 |

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation: Carly Strachan | 313-885-1895 |

About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.'s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson's desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit

KABOOM! is the national non-profit that works to achieve playspace equity. Kids who don’t have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health. And all too often, it more deeply affects communities of color. So we amplify the power of communities to build inspiring playspaces that spark unlimited opportunities for every kid, everywhere. KABOOM! has teamed up with partners to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces, engage more than 1.5 million community members and bring joy to more than 11 million kids. To learn about our goal to end playspace inequity for good, visit and join the conversation at,, and