The City of Tucson has some big news! The City received some extra funding from GameTime, through a program developed in partnership with Arizona Parks and Recreation Association that allowed them to build THREE playgrounds of their dreams. All of the parks have National Demonstration Site status bosting high-quality research backed equipment – demonstrating the city’s desire to provide impactful equipment that has their community’s future in mind.
This achievement deserves so much attention and praise because this really highlights the park and recreation professionals’ dedication and love for the community they serve. Not only did they obtain funding assistance, but they also attended in-person evidence-based best practice training sessions related to their job sector – providing them with valuable information to walk away with. They were equipped with information on how they could improve their communities and get help achieving their goals. These workshops were hosted by Playcore’s center for outreach, research, and education (CORE)– a purpose-driven company committed to building healthy communities around the world by advancing play and recreation.
Having all the tools for success, including being an APRA member, the recreation officials at The City of Tucson, saw the need to promote physical activity, so they put in an application for funding, to be on their way to put research into practice. Working with Altitude Recreation, they put together THREE impressive, shaded structures. The first playground includes nature theming with many panels for manipulating, musical instruments, a balance beam, a marry-go-all, a tree swing, and many ways to climb up (and over) and slide down.
The second playground features multiple ways to slide and climb, musical instruments, panels with manipulatives, swings, a balance beam, and even a telescope to look through!
When visiting the third you will discover many musical instruments, swings, pods to hop on, a balance beam, multiple ways to climb, and a couple slides. There is also a thrive work out station providing adults and teens a unique way to exercise while looking after the children.
With all these features, these playgrounds will help the City with their goal of promoting physical activity. But how will they know the playgrounds are doing that? These Playgrounds are designed to be National demonstration sites! Demonstration sites collect anonymous data from users via a QR code, the visitors simply answer questions and answers are compiled, translated, and then presented to the community’s stake holders - offering valuable information about activity levels, the duration of stay, if they will be returning and so on. With these data the designated officials will be able to measure the park’s long-term impact on the local community. Overall, these data reports will help demonstrate how investing in parks and recreation results in positive outcomes, grows social capital, and builds a strong community through the power of play and recreation.