Feb 032013
 

Officials stand near pieces of the Imagination Playground being donated to the city on Saturday. (submitted photo)

The “Super Saturday of Service” brought two citywide celebrations of volunteerism to the Lyons Center park in the Irish Channel, as the city received the donation of an “Imagination Playground” that includes large blue foam blocks for children to play with, and volunteers celebrated the replanting of the 20,000th tree since Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans lost 100,000 trees after Hurricane Katrina, and the volunteer group Hike for KaTREEna has now replanted 20,000 around the city, Connie Uddo told our partners at WWL on Saturday:

The city also received the donation of an “Imagination Playground” on Saturday, which will be permanently installed at Lyons Center once renovations there are complete, officials said. For more details, see the following news release:

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Today during the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee Super Saturday of Service, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and Rockwell Group’s Imagination Playground donated an Imagination Playground to the City of New Orleans. City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell and City Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo were present to accept the donation.

The donation was made in celebration of the recent release of Places to Play in New Orleans, a book promoting community health and wellness in alliance with Let’s Move!, the NFL’s Play60 and Fit NOLA. With a focus on very young children, the multifaceted campaign explores the role of play in developing lifelong healthy habits, and demonstrates the role the Louisiana Children’s Museum plays in shaping the community.

Places to Play in New Orleans

Places to Play in New Orleans calls attention to the importance of childhood play in building healthy communities where families can happily live, work and play. In anticipation of Super Bowl XLVII coming to New Orleans, the Louisiana Children’s Museum asked four classes of four-year-olds to think about fitness and places they play that visitors might be interested in exploring.

The resulting stories and illustrations were published in Places to Play in New Orleans, featuring a foreword by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and a letter from Karen DeSalvo speaking to the power of play in early childhood development. With attention to detail and creativity, Places to Play in New Orleans takes readers into the young authors’ whimsical view of New Orleans as they explore the role of play in their daily lives.

“During the Super Bowl when all eyes are on New Orleans, it is important to promote the message that New Orleans is a family friendly city with lots of green space, parks, playgrounds and organizations, such as the Louisiana Children’s Museum, who are dedicated to making learning and growing fun,” said Julia Bland, executive director of the Louisiana Children’s Museum. “Places to Play in New Orleans is an extraordinary example of organizations coming together to build a healthier community through active engagement of young children.”

Imagination Playground

The concept of Places to Play in New Orleans came full circle by pairing play education with access to safe, creative play spaces. The donated Imagination Playground, a transformative play system designed by the Rockwell Group, allows children to create their own imaginative space using large blue foam blocks. In addition to the Imagination Playground donated to the city, another will be installed at the Louisiana Children’s Museum.

“We are thrilled to donate an Imagination Playground to the City of New Orleans and provide a much needed community resource for childhood creativity and play,” said David Krishock, president of Imagination Playground. “We hope this will take Places to Play a step further by encouraging children to use their imaginations to build a car, a house, a spaceship, tear it down, and start all over again.”

The Louisiana Children’s Museum, located at 420 Julia Street in New Orleans, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon – 4:30 p.m. Access to the Museum and the Imagination Playground is open to the public with admission, $8 per person and free for Museum members. For more information and a calendar of events, visit www.lcm.org  or call (504) 523-1357.

About Louisiana Children’s Museum

Since 1986, the Louisiana Children’s Museum has engaged children and families in memorable, interactive experiences that make growing and learning fun.  It also goes beyond its walls to deliver creative, educational resources that impact the greater New Orleans community. The Museum is located at 420 Julia Street in New Orleans’ warehouse district. General admission is $8.00 for adults and children one year of age and older. Museum members are admitted free.

 

More on Imagination Playground:

Imagination Playground blocks are sold in sets suitable for a variety of outdoor and indoor sites, offering a cost-effective way to give children of multiple ages access to new forms of creative play. Manufactured in the United States, the waterproof foam blocks are resistant to mold, mildew, corrosion, and microorganisms. Introducing breakthrough technologies, these highly durable parts are biodegradable and can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling.

More on Rockwell Group:

Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 150-person architecture and design firm specializing in cultural, hospitality, retail, product, and set design. Based in New York, with satellite offices in Madrid and Shanghai, the firm crafts a unique narrative and an immersive environment for each project. David Rockwell’s interest in theater has informed much of the firm’s work, including: W Hotels in New York, Paris, Singapore, and Vieques; the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel; Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York; set design for the 2009 and 2010 Academy Awards ceremonies; exhibition design for the future National Center for Civil and Human Rights, opening in 2013 in Atlanta; Canyon Ranch Miami Beach; the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles; Nobu restaurants worldwide; set design for Broadway’s Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can; and the Imagination Playground initiative. For more information, please visit www.rockwellgroup.com and www.facebook.com/RockwellGroup.

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