The Town of Sahuarita has some big news! A spectacular, new National Demonstration Site playground is in the works for their community!!! The Town received some extra funding from GameTime, through a program developed in partnership with Arizona Parks and Recreation Association that allowed them to build the playground of their dreams.
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, 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 Town of Sahuarita, saw the need for inclusion and to promote physical activity all while fostering a curiosity for nature. 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 an impressive structure that includes ADA ramps and accessible panels for play, two connected towers with overlooks and two giant slides, many climbers and freestanding items too - including some shade and lots of benches!
With all these features, this playground will help the town with their goals for inclusion, physical activity, and bringing curiosity to nature. But how will they know the playground is doing those things? This Playground is designed to be a National demonstration site! 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 communities stake holders - offering valuable information about activity levels, the duration of stay, if they will be returning and so on. With this 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 park and recreation results in positive outcomes, grows social capital, and builds a strong community through the power of play and recreation.