now, we have the “green light” from our partners in
the City of Richmond –– and 100% of the construction
funds from $2 million grant from the State of
California –– to completely and radically transform
everything about Elm Playlot: how it is designed,
built, and run.
is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to wipe the slate
clean, start anew, and create a new model for an
inner-city park and playground that actually works. Transforming Elm Playlot into a
“Pogo Park” can function as a public health
For any park to “work,” it
must come from –– and be woven into –– the bones of a community. In
other words, the vision for Elm Playlot must come from
community residents themselves –– those who know best
what their community needs.
That’s what we’re working
on, right now. We recruited a diverse team of
community residents, some of whom played at Elm
Playlot as children. They are part of our “EPAC” team
(Elm Playlot Action Committee).
Our approach: invest in and
empower the EPAC team to re-imagine and re-build Elm
Playlot. What will it take to make Elm Playlot work?
What do we need to do to make
kids want to come? What do we need to do to
encourage the community to take ownership in the fate
of this little park? These are the questions our small
team is tackling when we meet to design, plan, build,
and staff the park.
So far, we’ve come up with
a list of things we like: a children’s sandbox with a
removable lid that is locked at night so no dogs or
cats can use it for a litter box. A separate totlot
for toddlers with a little hill, open space, bucket
swings, and seats for parents. An office for our “Park
Host,” -- a resident from the community who staffs Elm
Playlot to ensure it is safe, welcoming, and clean for
children and their families. A “Global Village”
(child-sized repicas of a tipi, yurt, and log cabin)
under the sycamore trees so that kids can make up
imaginary games. A rock cave and zip line. A clean
bathroom and drinking water. A snack bar.
A scale-model, built
entirely by hand by neighborhood residents, is shown
below. To see additional photos, please visit our
“community input” page.
an age of childhood obesity and children tethered to
electronic consoles, playgrounds have rarely been more
New York Times Op-Ed page
September 26, 2010
Who We Are: Pogo
Park is an entrepreneurial, grass-roots, 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization based in Richmond, California.
Our Mission: To transform lives by transforming
Our Vision: To create magical play spaces for
What We Do: We
are rebuilding Elm Playlot, a small (.5 acre) city
park and playground in Richmond that lies in the
heart of Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood – a
once-proud and vibrant inner-city neighborhood now
devastated violent crime, widespread blight, and
Why Pogo Park is Important:
By re-designing and re-building
Elm Playlot, Pogo Park is developing a new model for
how to “turn the lights on” in the thousands of
inner-city parks and playground, now lying unused
and dormant, in neighborhoods with the highest need
for great parks.
project to transform Elm Playlot is revealing itself
to be a potent catalyst for both child
development and community
This six-minute video explains who we are and what we do.
POGO PARK STORY
Watch this informative
story about Pogo Park from New American