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City of Akron, Akron Parks Collaborative, Sierra, and KABOOM! Unveil Kid-Designed Playground at Talbot/Whitney Park


Community joins forces with nonprofits to advance playspace equity in Akron, OH

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 10-07-2022

Akron/OH (October 7, 2022) - Today, kids in the community around Talbot/Whitney Park in Akron, OH are celebrating as a kid-designed playground is unveiled. The months-long collaboration between the City of Akron, Akron Parks Collaborative, East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, Great Streets Akron, Sierra, and KABOOM! culminated this week as more than 125 volunteers installed the new playspace, which will offer kids a high-quality, safe place to play that is close to where they live and learn.

The new playground was a collaborative effort by community members, including kids, who presented creative ideas for their dream playground during a design day in July. The playground is inspired by those drawings and will provide hundreds of kids and their families with a place to get active, build social bonds, and gather as a community.

Play is essential to the physical, social, and emotional health of every child. However, too many children lack access to places to play to achieve these critical benefits. The new playground at Talbot/Whitney Park, designed with the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations in mind, brings East Akron one step closer toward ending playspace inequity and ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood and benefits of play.

“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at Talbot/Whitney Park and ensure that kids in East Akron have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn, and unlock their greatest potential.”

Sierra, the off-price retailer from the TJX Family, has provided support for the new playground through its ongoing partnership with KABOOM!. This is Sierra’s fourth year partnering with KABOOM! to help get more kids active and outside.

“At Sierra, we strive to help make the outside accessible to all,” said Gennifer Hobbs, Vice President and Sierra Marketing Director. “That’s why we’re so proud to support KABOOM!’s epic work. And with stores in Columbus and Westlake, plus Strongsville and Norwood coming soon, it’s important to us to give back to this community.”


About Akron Parks Collaborative

Akron Parks Collaborative is a nonprofit organization engaging Akron neighborhoods around the creation and sustainability of vibrant public spaces within City of Akron parks. We support communities in citizen-led design and decision making on neighborhood park improvements. We value equity, inclusion and diversity around public spaces. We also foster and support affiliated Friends Groups around single city parks and support programs that engage residents in city parks. Learn more at

About Sierra

Founded in 1986, Sierra helps customers get moving with epic brands, vast selection, and teeny, tiny prices. Sierra is part of the TJX Companies, Inc., the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide. Shop in store or visit to find apparel, footwear, and gear for the whole family at incredible prices.


KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the $250 million plan to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

For further information, contact:
Bridget Ambrisco
Akron Parks Collaborative
Phone: 330-801-5255
E-mail: [email protected]

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