The City Council voted 5-0 to accept a grant ranging from $90,000-$270,000 from KaBOOM! and Foresters Financial [Independent Order of Foresters – IOF] for improvements on Lake Avenue Park in Apopka.
According to the City Council's agenda packet, the City would have to provide an $8,500 "match" of funds to receive the grant. In addition to the match requirement, the City should seed/sod the park, install hedge material, trees, mulch, and add irrigation to the site. The estimated costs for landscaping are: Seed/Sod installation $15,000 Irrigation installation $ 4,500 Miscellaneous plant material and mulch $ 2,400 The landscaping costs can be paid from the Tree Bank Fund.
According to Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, the park could use the makeover.
"Lake Avenue Park is horrible," he said. "I'm embarrassed to call it a park. It's not a park, it's a big flat area with a lot of junky derelict equipment that's been neglected for a long time. This grant will make this a proper park."
According to its website, KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. It's done by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To achieve its vision, KaBOOM! works to catalyze and create great places to play, empower advocates to promote and protect play, and elevate public discourse around the importance of play. KaBOOM! believes play matters for all kids, because all the science affirms that play is critical to a child’s overall health, development and well-being. Moreover, play can help tackle a number of urgent issues plaguing society — especially those endemic among low-income communities.
In its 2015 Annual Report, KaBOOM! contributed over $20 million in grants and contributions to 241 communities nationwide, It built 150 playspaces in underprivileged neighborhoods, and 197 grants for playspaces or play opportunities. It dispatched 37,756 volunteers for KaBOOM! projects and served 1,035,862 kids.
KaBOOM representatives have scheduled a playground “Design Day” for the City’s elected officials, staff and the public on January 24. It starts at Lake Avenue Park (located at 439 North Lake Avenue in Apopka) with a "Site Walk". A children's design session will be from 4-5PM at the Fran Carlton Center (at 11 North Forest Avenue in Apopka), and then an Adult Planning Meeting from 5-8PM at the Fran Carlton Center.
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