Play Everywhere Challenge
supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

Winners

Awarding $1 million throughout Southeast Michigan and Western New York

Built to Play

KABOOM! and the Built to Play initiative, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, have proudly announced the winners of the second Play Everywhere Challenge. The Play Everywhere Challenge awarded a total of $1 million for 22 projects across Western New York and Southeast Michigan.

The Play Everywhere Challenge invited communities to submit creative design ideas that make it easier for families to incorporate play into everyday moments. Selected projects will bring play into public spaces in unconventional ways — such as implementing swings at bus stops or play zones at laundromats.

2020 Play Everywhere Design Challenge

Keep watching this page, or sign up for our Grant Alerts, for news about the Play Everywhere Design Challenge, launching in Spring 2020.

Much more news to come!

2019 Play Everywhere Challenge winners

Explore the early designs and descriptions of our 2019 winners.

Play Everywhere Challenge - All You Can Be

all You can be

Medina, NY
GLOW YMCA

This project will transform several sidewalks and a bus stop area outside a local YMCA into a vibrant playspace. This 2D, training camp-inspired obstacle course will utilize in-ground trampolines to provide an estimated 845 kids annually with opportunities to be active and socialize.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Barker Road Play Path v2

Barker Road Play Path

Northfield Township, MI
Northfield Township

The Barker Road Play Path will connect local residents to Whitmore Lake, a major downtown area. The path will feature musical instruments, hidden painted rocks, custom benches and interactive games like hopscotch. Due to its proximity to the school, the path can also be used for outdoor education purposes. The project will serve an estimated 500 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Blue Dots v2

Blue Dots

Almond, NY
Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik

This project consists of three blue, rubber-surfaced areas, each with a unique circular assembly of powder-coated steel pipe that allows kids of different heights to play and interact. The Blue Dots will be located along a walking path in Lion’s Park and aim to make the area a destination for socialization and play. The project will serve an estimated 510 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Bridge to Bay Musical Parklet

Bridge to Bay Musical Parklet

Marine City, MI
City of Marine City

The Bridge to Bay Musical Parklet, located in a grassy lot along a bike and pedestrian trail, will add outdoor musical instruments for kids and families to use. The Parklet will include cherub bells, a xylophone, tubular bells, rainbow sambas, an akadinda and a seating area. To attract cyclists as well, they hope to include bike racks and small repair stations. The project will serve 3,900 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Chadakoin Adventure Trail

Chadakoin Adventure Trail

Jamestown, NY
Chautauqua County Health Network’s Creating Healthy Schools & Communities Initiative

The half-mile Adventure Trail will provide kids from a local elementary school with safe pedestrian access to Chadakoin Park and encourage exploration of their natural surroundings. An estimated 400 kids annually will enjoy the Trail and its interactive features, which include climbable animal figures, tunnels and tree trunk steppers.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Daisys Adventure Garden v2

Daisy’s Adventure Garden

Lockport, NY
Kenan Center

Daisy’s Garden will bring together a number of fun structures, including an amphitheater, water playspace, sound garden and treehouse, for the enjoyment of kids and families from the surrounding community. The Garden will be located near the campus of a community non-profit, and will serve an estimated 1,260 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Fit Facts by the Falls v2

Fit Facts by the Falls

Niagara Falls, NY
Old Falls Street, USA

Located along three blocks of the Old Falls Street entertainment district, this project will consist of signs featuring facts and challenges that encourage residents and visitors alike to complete an exercise or activity while learning about Niagara Falls. Elements like backdrops, exhibit walls, painted sidewalk sections and equipment to support physical activity will complement the signs. The project will serve an estimated 30,000 kids.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Good Fun and Sound Abound Downtown

Good Fun & Sound Abounds Downtown

Pontiac, MI
City of Pontiac

This project will transform an empty lot and corridor into a musical playspace with outdoor instruments like a xylophone and chimes as well as a pop-up stage for events and programming. The space will complement the nearby Phoenix Center, which is undergoing redevelopment with plans for extensive kid-centered design and programming. The project will serve nearly 4,800 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - great little place play prepare practice

Great Little Place to Play, Prepare and Practice

Eden, NY
Independent Health Foundation and Eden Central School District

Located in a rural community where access to playspaces is limited, this project will transform school hallways into play zones during cold winter months by creating areas where kids can hop, skip and jump. An empty classroom will also be converted into a play zone for indoor recess when the weather prohibits outdoor play. The project will serve an estimated 450 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Growing a Brighter Tomorrow

Growing a Brighter Tomorrow

Clinton Township, Centerline and Detroit, MI
UP Art Studio

This project consists of three playful community mural projects, each in a different location. These murals will be located at Salvation Army retail stores and will be influenced by community input. Interactive chalkboards and play paths will complement each mural. The project will serve an estimated 435 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Growing Roots Through Play

Growing Roots Through Play

Monroe County, NY
Foodlink, Inc. – Lexington Avenue Community Farm

This project will create a play area in an empty half-acre lot in Rochester that sits between an urban farm and the surrounding neighborhood. Featuring log and boulder-based climbers and steps, labyrinths, public art and wayfinding features, the space will support community gatherings and serve an estimated 500 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Healthy Habits Play Path

Healthy Habits Play Path

Monroe County, MI
Monroe County YMCA

This project will be centrally located along the county’s Heritage Trail. In addition to traditional sports equipment, the Path will feature oversized, interactive board game elements like Jenga and Connect 4. A garden area, play farmers market and signage will reinforce themes of healthy eating and active play. The project will serve an estimated 10,000 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Heat Islands

Heat Islands

Buffalo, NY
Gekh with King Center Charter School

This project in Buffalo will create a physically engaging outdoor learning space using a unique set of features that look like naturally occurring rocks. Each of the features has a warming/cooling element, inviting kids to interact with the space in different ways as the seasons change. The project will serve 500 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Howell Tales Trail v2

Howell Tales Trail

Howell, MI
Howell Main Street Inc.

The Howell Tales Trail will be an interactive downtown path that combines seating, play structures and tabletop games with a unique mobile app. Visitors can use the app to access folklore, fun facts and history related to the community. The project will serve nearly 10,000 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Lumination is Family Fun

Lumination is Family Fun

River Rouge, MI
City of River Rouge

This project will create interactive spaces throughout the community that encourage play and learning. Glow-in-the-dark sidewalk games and interactive art projects, some incorporating bilingual language learning elements, will complement a movable chalkboard canvas. The project will serve an estimated 160 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Playful Dragon

Playful Dragon

Orion Township, MI
Orion Township

To support the township’s goal of prioritizing play in a revitalized thoroughfare, this project will provide kids and families with a unique playspace in what is currently an empty lot. The Playful Dragon will be a hybrid statue/playspace in the shape of a dragon, and will feature a slide, ‘lava’ balance pieces and a ‘burnt forest’ of climbing logs and stumps. The project will serve an estimated 600 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Playful Path at the ANT

Playful Path at the ANT

Wyoming County, NY
Camp Puzzle Peace, Inc.

This project compliments an interactive nature trail in Letchworth State Park designed for people with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays and other conditions that may limit parents’ comfort with bringing their kids into the outdoors. The Playful Path will invite hikers to “jump on” a series of serpentine paths, each made of a different surface material, such as gravel, grass, soil, pine needles and even pieces of river slate. The Path will serve an estimated 7,000 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Play Me a Tune Music Garden

Play Me a Tune Music Garden

Genesee County, NY
Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council

This space, situated in an alleyway along an existing art trail, will feature more than a dozen interactive musical instruments, sidewalk lights and a musical-themed mural. The project will expose families to arts and culture and create opportunities for after-school programming. The Music Garden will serve an estimated 860 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - PlayROCs Interactive Rochester Sign

PlayROCs: Interactive Rochester Signs

Rochester, NY
Healthi Kids Coalition of Common Ground Health

Using signs and playful sidewalks to activate areas of downtown Rochester, this project aims to direct people to local attractions and provide residents with spontaneous opportunities for play. These will include: a climbable “I Heart Rochester” sign, hop, skip and jump opportunities and a play map. The project will serve an estimated 271,000 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge -Riverfront Rockout

Riverfront Rockout

Algonac, MI
City of Algonac

This project will install a variety of outdoor musical instruments in a local riverfront park, including a variety of multi-pitch drums and aluminum chimes. The instruments are appropriate for ages 2 to adult and aim to activate the riverfront for intergenerational play. The project will serve an estimated 2,500 kids annually.

Play Everywhere Challenge - Run Play Experience Manchester

Run, Play, Experience Manchester

Manchester, MI
Village of Manchester

This project will create five play stops along a newly developed shared use trail, which guides people through a scenic wooded area, two parks, a local library and downtown offerings. The stops will include telescopes, stone features for climbing, a race track, outdoor instruments and sidewalk games. The project will serve more than 1,700 kids annually.

Built to Play Seneca Stay and Play Park

Seneca Stay and Play Park

Oak Park, MI
City of Oak Park, Seneca Park

The Stay and Play Park will be a pocket park accessible to pedestrians. It will feature a public art display, artificial boulders for playing or sitting and a DNA helix inspired climbing tower in the center, designed for kids of various ages. The project will serve an estimated 12,500 kids annually.

2018 Play Everywhere Challenge winners

Explore the early designs and descriptions of our 2018 winners.

About Built to Play

The Built to Play initiative aims to give kids in Western New York and Southeast Michigan more opportunities for unstructured, kid-driven free play. This need was identified in the regional "State of Play" reports conducted by the Aspen Institute and supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and through research conducted by both Tony Hawk Foundation and KABOOM!.

In addition to the Play Everywhere Challenge, Built to Play is also funding Unique Playground Builds through KABOOM! and Community Skateparks through the Tony Hawk Foundation across both regions. Learn more about the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and these opportunities by visiting www.RWBuiltToPlay.org.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and KABOOM!