Fresh air, the smell of mulch, that moment of weightlessness on the swings and the non-stop laughter and roars from nearby children are all things you can find at playgrounds. But in Columbus, you’ll find a little bit of hockey mixed in.
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation is on a mission to help the next generation of adventurers get healthy, play safely and stay active. In 2016, the Blue Jackets Foundation announced a $400,000 commitment to build eight Blue Jackets themed playgrounds with Columbus Recreation and Parks over four years, in the most vulnerable neighborhoods throughout central Ohio.
"Building playgrounds was an investment we knew we could scale to the community," said Kathryn Dobbs, Columbus Blue Jackets Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. "And by partnering with Columbus Recreation and Parks, we are confident they have the resources to support the builds and help maintain the playgrounds afterwards. Our $400,000 commitment was matched by Recs and Parks and we've set aside funds for continued support of these playgrounds."
In 2017, the first two of the eight playgrounds were built at Glenwood and Windsor Park, serving over a thousand children. But writing a check wasn’t enough for the Blue Jackets. The organization recruited volunteers and built the Windsor Park playground with the community over two days.
"We think we are good at building playgrounds," Dobbs said. "With the support of our fan base and partners, we can raise the funds and recruit the volunteers to build them. It's a tangible representation of our philanthropic efforts."
But with six more playgrounds in the queue, the Blue Jackets didn’t stop there! In October, the Blue Jackets Foundation announced a $100,000 commitment to build an inclusive Blue Jackets themed playground with Gahanna Parks and Recreation that allows children of all abilities to access and enjoy the playground elements. This playground will serve over 7,000 residents in western Gahanna and serve as a safe place for children to play, interact, and get outside.
Breaking barriers and building the next frontiers of imagination are just the beginning for the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.
Join us at The CannonBall on February 7 and embark on our journey in 2018! Buy tickets here.