We work in collaboration with other NGOs, grassroots organizations, and coalitions to secure public commitments to fund playspaces for kids that need these spaces most. This means making sure that lawmakers, at every level of government, understand the importance of playspaces perform in the areas of advancing better health outcomes for children and building vibrant neighborhoods for their constituents. We accomplish this goal through effective advocacy strategies like sharing our mission and stories of impact, publicizing our achievements, providing resources to policymakers, and mobilizing the communities we work alongside.

Our advocacy efforts range from the nation’s Capitol, to statehouses to city halls. In DC, we believe it is vital that lawmakers hear from a diverse group of stakeholders on the importance of racial equity, access to the outdoors, and promoting and protecting the health and wellness of children. While at the state and local levels, we push to see policy translated in the areas of government that impact people the most, which means better quality playspaces, greater access to green spaces, and more attention paid to the social determinants of health that negatively impact BIPOC communities.

Governor and First Lady Bill and Maria Lee worked with KABOOM! to build a playground in Hermitage Springs, Tennessee as part of the TN Serves initiative spearheaded by the First Lady. This project is a great example of bringing together community service and playspace equity to close the “play gap” in rural communities.

Residents of Uvalde, Texas and KABOOM! CEO Lysa Ratliff met with Rep. Tony Gonzales and other members of the Texas delegation to talk about the important role outdoor play has in protecting their mental health and helping kids recover from traumatic experiences.

KABOOM! CEO Lysa Ratliff was joined by Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises for a roundtable discussion she hosted on the importance of outdoor play on the physical and mental health of kids.

CLIF KID ZBAR partnered with KABOOM! to host four families from different parts of the country for a Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. These young leaders met with the offices of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other members of Congress to talk about the important role outdoor play and recreation has had on their lives.

KABOOM! worked with Maryland State Del. Michele Guyton’s office to promote her legislation that would prevent the use of toxic chemicals in playground surfaces. Ronda Jackson, VP of Learning and Evaluation at KABOOM!, joined Del. Guyton and other advocates when Gov. Wes Moore signed the bill into law in May 2024.

Playgrounds are a Bipartisan Issue

Have you ever wondered how elections impact our work to end playspace inequity? Our Policy, Advocacy, and Impact team wrote about what changes are expected after the recent midterm elections.

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We work in collaboration with other NGOs and lawmakers, at every level of government, to secure support and understand the importance of playspaces perform. Explore our most recent statements, comments, and letters on some of the important policies impacting playspace inequity.

Letter to Senator Newman in Support of the California Education Bond Bill

Submitted Testimony to the US Senate HELP Committee’s Hearing on Public School Funding

Letter to Senator Sanders and Representative Ocasio-Cortex on the Green New Deal for Public Housing

Submitted Comments on the Proposed Rule Changes to the Community Development Block Grant Program

Submitted Comments on SB 482/HB 694 The Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments, and Households (ENOUGH) Grant Program Act of 2024

Submitted Comments on the Creation of an American Climate Corps

Testimony in Support of Maryland SB 151- Prince George’s County Workgroup on Health and Wellness

2023 Comments, Letters, and Statements

Submitted Comments to the USDA Regarding Revised Community Facilities Program Eligibility

Letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure advocating for child-centered traffic policies

Submitted Comments to the President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics

Submitted Comments to Internal Revenue Service in Relation to Section 6417 Elective Payment of Applicable Credits

Letters to House and Senate on Farm Bill

Letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee Hearing to Examine the American Youth Mental Health Crisis

Letter acknowledging Sen. Cornyn for his support of Uvalde

Submitted Comments on Transgender Student Athlete Regulations

Letter to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in Support of SNAP

Testimony in support of Maryland HB 546- Service Year Option Program

Letter to California Senator Newman in support of Mandatory Recess Policy

Letter to President Biden on Food Insecurity and the role of playgrounds as community wellness hubs

Submitted Comments to EPA on playgrounds and climate resiliency

Statement to House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Hearing on Back to School: Meeting Students’ Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs.

  • Equitable Access to Playgrounds

    Every child should have places to play, learn, and thrive. Playgrounds afford children safe and engaging ways to play. Every child, regardless of race, should be able to reach one easily.

  • Making Children's Health a Priority

    Numerous studies show the physical and mental health benefits of play and physical activity, which is why the government needs to invest more in the health of the next generation.

  • Strong Support for the Nonprofit Sector

    Nonprofits are on the front line of delivering vital social, human, and financial services to America's most vulnerable residents and should be strongly supported by the government.

  • Investment into Civic Infrastructure

    Open spaces where people can gather, learn, and play are critical to a community's quality of life but also to sustaining our democracy and the free exchange of ideas.

Nonprofit Infrastructure Coalition

In 2020, Independent Sector and KABOOM! formed a coalition known as the Nonprofit Infrastructure Coalition (NIC) to identify, and advocate for, the essential federal investments needed to rebuild the nation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and ongoing racial injustice.

Percent for Place Coalition

KABOOM! is one of over two-dozen nationally and locally-oriented organizations participating in this coalition that advocates for additional federal funding and policies that will ensure an equitable amount of public space is reserved for civic participation and engagement for the purposes of play, learning, entertainment, and exploration.