Editor’s Note: The following announcement comes from Hopkins Public Schools.
Thanks to a group of dedicated parents, Eisenhower+XinXing students will have a new playground to play on as soon as this spring. The playground will be inclusive to all ages and abilities, promote physical fitness, and provide a safe place for children to play. Most of the playground will be funded by a $200,000 grant from Hennepin County, although Hopkins Public Schools, Eisenhower PTO, and Bei Dou Xing donated funds, as well.
"Our school is so excited about our new playground," said parent Penny Thompson-Burke. "It will get a lot of use from the larger Hopkins community."
The grant would not be possible without the efforts of Thompson-Burke, Paul Bushmann and Maria Baca. The three parents logged countless hours securing revenue sources to fund the project and co-wrote the comprehensive grant, which included endorsements from state senators, Hopkins Police Department, Hopkins Fire Department, Hopkins-Minnetonka Recreational Services, and Hopkins Public Schools Community Education.
Studies have shown that having a safe place to play builds a sense of community, promotes physical fitness, and makes communities safer and healthier. Safe playgrounds have even been shown to have positive effects on student achievement.
Over the next month, parents, community members, Hopkins staff and students will vote on the playground landscape they like best. Each option incorporates the primary goals of the new playground, which is to have an inclusive design and provide a safe place for kids of all ages and abilities to play.
Help build the playground
After the design is chosen, community members will have a chance to roll up their sleeves and start building the new playground. As a cost-saving measure, sweat equity was incorporated into the project. Community volunteers will build the playground over the duration of one weekend. More information will be shared as soon as it's available. Everyone is welcome.