It was not your average Friday at Sherman Oaks Park in San Jose on May 15, as 220 volunteers gathered with one goal in mind: to transform the existing unused grass area into a safe and accessible place for youth and their families to enjoy. What emerged on that day was an exciting Sharks-themed playground.
With the guidance of national non-profit KaBOOM!, which helps build playgrounds for communities across America, and the support of the San Jose Parks Foundation and Campbell Union School District, the Sharks Foundation began to make the project come to life in early March when they hosted 30 local children for a playground design day. The kids were given a blank paper canvas and asked to imagine and draw their dream playground. KaBOOM! then took those designs and within two months created a blueprint for Sherman Oaks Park.
“Our mission is to enhance the lives of youth and families in Santa Clara country and this park will help do just that” Sharks Foundation Manager Heather Hooper said. “By giving this great community access to a fun, safe and easily accessible place to play, we hope to encourage and inspire healthy and active lifestyles.”
In just six hours, volunteers from Sharks Sports and Entertainment, SAP, Kaiser Permanente and the surrounding community assembled slides and rock walls, built benches and planters, painted tiles and moved nearly 44,000 square feet of safety surfacing by hand. Orchard Supply Hardware donated more than $2,000 worth of tools and supplies for the construction and added their expertise, as they joined in on the excitement. Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin, alumni Owen Nolan and Evgeni Nabokov and mascot S.J. Sharkie also offered a helping hand in the final hours by applying the finishing touches.
San Jose Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora was joined by Mayor Sam Liccardo and Superintendent of Campbell Union School District, Dr. Eric Andrew, for the ceremonial ribbon cutting. After the ribbon cutting, volunteers enjoyed a sweet treat from Yogurtland, who donated frozen yogurt and toppings in honor of the build’s completion.
The new playground, which dons Sharks logos and teal framework, will be open from sunrise to sunset each and every day and is expected to host more than 2,000 San Jose youth per year.
Click here for photos from the playground build.
Click here for more information on the Sharks Foundation’s legacy projects.About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org
or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom
.About the San Jose Parks Foundation
San Jose Parks Foundation is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing San Jose City Parks and Trails, as well as the programs that take place within them. San Jose Parks Foundation focuses on four key areas: Neighborhood Empowerment; Recruitment, Training and Management of Volunteers, Support for Healthy Activities for Low-income Youth; and Advocacy on behalf of the community for Parks and Trails.About the Campbell Union School District
Campbell Union School District educates more than 7,600 students, from preschool to eighth grade. Its 12 schools serve the communities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Saratoga. In addition to traditional educational programs, the district offers a parent participation school, a dual language immersion school and home schooling. For more information about the district, visit www.campbellusd.org
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