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

Awarding $720,000 throughout Southeast Michigan and Western New York

Built to Play

KaBOOM! and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation are teaming up to give kids across Southeast Michigan and Western New York more opportunities for kid-driven free play thanks to the newly launched Built to Play initiative. Built to Play will fund the creation of unique play spaces through an exciting new design competition. This partnership will fund Build it with KaBOOM! playgrounds, built to the customized needs of each selected community and the creation of unique play spaces through the Play Everywhere Challenge.

The Play Everywhere Challenge, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, will award $720,000 in grants, ranging from $10,000 to $80,000, to winners with great ideas to integrate play into everyday life and unexpected places. Together, we are looking to transform sidewalks and vacant lots, bus stops, waiting areas and beyond through creative installations that will provide more play opportunities to kids who need it most.

Eligible regions

To be eligible for a grant, the project must be within the following counties.

Southeast Michigan Western New York
Livingston Allegany
Macomb Cattaraugus
Monroe Chautauqua
Oakland Erie
St. Clair Genesee
Washtenaw Niagara
Wayne Orleans

Play Everywhere applications

On 5/11, the Play Everywhere Challenge Idea Form closed. We are no longer accepting ideas for Play Everywhere Challenge opportunities.

Beginning May 21, organizations with the best ideas will qualify as Top Candidates and can submit a full application for funding. During this phase, candidates will receive technical assistance from KaBOOM! to refine their applications. As part of the application, candidates will be required to submit the following:

  • Detailed budget
  • Projected project timeline
  • Plans for engaging the community in the design and implementation of the project

Final applications are due on June 15.

Winners will be selected and informed by July 9. A public announcement of the winners will occur in August.

Play Everywhere project implementation

Winners must implement their projects along the following timelines:

  • Small scale: 3 months - 8/13/2018 thru 11/2/2018
  • Medium scale: 9 months - 8/13/2018 thru 4/30/2019
  • Large scale: 1 year - 8/13/2018 thru 8/16/2019

Build it with KaBOOM! applications

Organizations interested in Build it with KaBOOM! grants can start an application now. Learn more about Build it with KaBOOM!.

About Built to Play

The Built to Play initative 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

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM!