RACINE, Wis., (Jan. 16, 2015) – Nationally, one-third of Americans say there are not enough playgrounds in their community to serve the number of children who live there.* This was confirmed by neighborhood residents, clergy, small business owners and officials during the building of Mount Pleasant’s Community-Oriented Policing (COP) House. When asked what issues impacted their area, they indicated that the lack of green space, parks and playgrounds for children was a critical issue.
SC Johnson, Racine Community Outpost, and the Village of Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation are doing their part to ensure that young people living in the vicinity of the new COP House have adequate space and equipment for play activities. SC Johnson is providing a $275,000 grant to construct a new playground there.
The playground will be named after Racine Community Outpost founder and former Racine Police Chief Dick Polzin, whose vision served as a model for Mount Pleasant’s first COP House. COP is an engagement strategy designed to create positive and frequent interaction between a COP officer and the local residents/businesses in the area.
“SC Johnson is proud to support the construction of this new playground as it marks another positive step in the area’s revitalization efforts,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “It is also a great honor to be able to recognize Dick Polzin in this way. His dedication and service to the community will continue to be celebrated by families and children spending time at this playground.”
The playground will be built on three parcels of land at the corner of 23rd and Mead streets. The site, across from the Mount Pleasant COP House, was selected for its size and visibility. It will become a natural extension of the COP House, serving as the site for neighborhood programming involving children.
Upon completion, the playground will be donated to the Village of Mount Pleasant and become part of their park system. Mount Pleasant’s Parks and Recreation Board will manage programs and maintenance in the future.
“We are truly excited to have this playground as an addition to the Mount Pleasant park system. It creates a year-round natural play area for children – where there wasn’t one previously. Our plan is to utilize this in combination with the new COP House to offer coordinated activities for kids in the neighborhood,” said Terri Maier, Chairperson, Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Racine Community Outpost worked with noted playground designer Bob Collins from RGC Design, Plainfield, Ill., to develop a plan that included ample green space for creative play and an activity area with playground equipment for various ages. The entry into the new recreational area will lead directly to the playground, with a path leading to a park shelter. An open lawn with a hill will serve as an area for children to run, play and roll (or even sled in the winter). The primary play structure will offer swings and multiple slides at varied heights with a number of climbing features.
The playground will feature engineered wood fiber safety surfacing and contain some small nature play elements, such as a log crawl tube and flower steppers. The green area will be planted with native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses and will be fully accessible for the disabled.
The playground site will be cleared and readied for construction over the next few months. The playground is scheduled to be completed in late spring 2015.
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE®, and RIDSECT®. The 129-year-old company, that generates $9 billion in sales, employs nearly 12,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
*Synopsis of 2010 Research Papers: The Key Benefits, published by the National Recreation and Park Association. http://www.nrpa.org/research-papers/