November 16, 2011

Play is more than just fun

"I used to play at Park of the Canals when I was a kid in Mesa, Arizona and always had fond memories of it.  But shortly before I moved into the neighborhood with my own family, the playground was removed for safety reasons. Ironically, that resulted in a dramatic decline in park use and it developed a sore reputation for criminal activity.

Mesa was in a budget crisis and had no funds to allocate to park improvements, so it became obvious to me that the only alternative was to mount a community effort to replace the playground and take back our park.

Through the months of planning and coordinating with my community to raise funds and volunteers, my three little girls were my biggest motivation and inspiration. They can spend all day long at a park playing and having fun - but it's not just that, they are exploring, pretending, socializing, learning new things about themselves when they have the space and quality equipment to engage in unstructured play.

For me, more than anything, a good park means more quality time together for families and friends. We are all losing too much of our lives fixated on a TV, computer or cell phone screen - unengaged with our love ones and the world around us."

– Bert Millett, Mesa, AZ

Bert wanted more for his community, and his family, so he stood up and led an amazing community build with knowledge and resources from KaBOOM!

Play it forward with a donation today so dads like Bert can keep building great new places to play.

kaboom! news, play it forward, playground, arizona, mesa