One of the first projects that Vivienne's Joy Foundation will focus on is a new playground in Boyd Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Boyd Park, in the heart of St Paul's historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood, is named for the influential African-American union activist Frank Boyd. Adjacent to a growing pre-school and proximal to the neighborhood's thriving commercial district, Boyd Park is primed to not only impact local children but to also draw families from other parts of St Paul.
The goals of the project include:
Developing a play space for neighborhood children that encourages active, outdoor and imaginative play.
Developing a destination park that draws visitors from other parts of the city, contributing to the economic development of the Cathedral Hill neighborhood.
Developing community engagement and investment in local public spaces.
Increasing neighborhood safety.
Creating a space for the people who loved Vivie to gather and honor her joyful spirit.
We’ve partnered with Play by Design, a firm that has developed a unique process that unifies and empowers communities by bringing people together to design, organize, and construct one-of-a-kind playgrounds and park structures. Known for their creative, innovative, and inclusive designs, Play by Design has designed and acted as a building consultant for hundreds of community-led playground projects across the country
What sets Play by Design’s structures apart is the aesthetically sensitive architecture that reflects the surrounding area’s historical and architectural features. What makes them treasured community assets is the sense of pride and ownership built in to them by the hands of volunteers.
Objectives of the project include: Engaging children from two local pre-schools and the surrounding neighborhood in the playground design process Engaging over 1000 community volunteers throughout the project in fundraising, public relations, construction, site coordination, materials collection, and volunteer management activities Completing an entirely community-led construction process Building a play space that is ADA compliant and that meets current safety standards
Finally, studies show that when neighborhood residents are engaged in the development and/or care of a public space, they utilization of the space increases, community engagement deepens, and crime decreases. These are all improvements we’re seeking for Boyd Park and the surrounding neighborhood.
Timeline The project officially kicks off on May 23, 2017 when the Vivienne’s Joy Foundation hosts Design Day, This is an exciting time when the architects from Play by Design meet with local children and community members to develop the initial playground design. Design refinements, fundraising, community engagement, and volunteer recruitment activities continue through 2017 and the first half of 2018. The project concludes with a week of playground construction in the fall of 2018.