CVS Caremark All Kids Can Announces the Opening of a Boundless Playground in Los Angeles to Serve Children of All Abilities

Friday, November 14, 2008

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark, Boundless Playgrounds and the City of Los Angeles announce today the grand opening of a new playground at the Rosecrans Recreation Center in Los Angeles that provides access for children of all abilities to play together. Construction of the playground is funded in part by a $250,000 grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, along with $50,000 donated by the City of Los Angeles.

The new playground will be unveiled today at Rosecrans Recreation Center located at 840 W. 149th Street, Los Angeles, Calif., about 10 miles southeast of Los Angeles International Airport. The event lasts from 3 to 7 p.m. and will include free health screenings, refreshments, face painting and other family activities.

"A child at play is a sign of vibrancy in communities all across the City of Los Angeles. Providing for the recreation and park needs of residents of Los Angeles' diverse communities is one of the greatest challenges facing the city," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Receiving this generous donation from CVS Caremark supports the City's efforts to develop play for children of all abilities, and we appreciate their partnership in developing this new Boundless Playground."

This marks the opening of the city's third Boundless playground, and the eleventh playground in the community that is handicapped accessible. With over 160,000 special education students in Los Angeles County, the demand for fully-integrated play facilities is great.

"We share a common mission with the City of Los Angeles to help children of all abilities to learn, play and succeed," said Eileen Howard Dunn, vice president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "We are thrilled to have created a playground in Los Angeles where all kids can enjoy a play experience in line with their individual needs and capabilities."

"The generous donation from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, as part of the All Kids Can program, has helped us move closer to our goal of having universally accessible playgrounds in key locations throughout Los Angeles to enhance the emotional, physical and social development of children who live with a disability," said Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager, City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. "The community is extremely grateful for their support."

As part of an overall Rosecrans Park redevelopment project, the new playground replaces a former play structure, originally dedicated in 1989, that was not universally accessible and in need of an update.

The playground at Rosecrans will serve thousands of area children, including the approximately 355 children with disabilities that share the same zip code as the park. CVS Caremark and the City of Los Angeles selected this site for a new Boundless playground based on the number of schools located within a one mile radius of the park, the playground's distance from other city parks, and the significant percentage of children with disabilities in the area. CVS Caremark also met with representatives from Councilwoman Janice Hahn's district to gain their support as well as local community members on the Rosecrans Park's Advisory Board.

Since 2006, CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS Caremark that is dedicated to making life easier for children with disabilities, has donated more than $2 million to the building of Boundless playgrounds across the country. CVS Caremark's signature playground projects include three $250,000 grants to the playground that opens today in Los Angeles, another playground that opened in Dallas last March, and a third playground opening in Boston next spring. Plans for three more signature playgrounds are also underway.

GameTime, the manufacturer of the new Rosecrans playground and approved vendor of the City of Los Angeles, provided equipment consisting of universally accessible pathways, surfacing, and ramps to the highest play deck so everyone can be in the middle of the fun without leaving behind support devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers. The playground also includes special ground level play activities, near wheelchair accessible platform centers, to promote social and physical interaction between children of all abilities. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles will be adding an accessible ground level playhouse island in the middle of a sand area.

"With the extraordinary support of CVS Caremark All Kids Can, the Rosecrans Park Boundless Playground will provide all children in this area of Los Angeles -- especially those with disabilities -- a place to gain the proven developmental and physical benefits of unstructured play with their peers," said Frederick Leone, chief executive officer of Boundless Playgrounds. "By playing together, these children will also learn to appreciate and respect the unique abilities of others, regardless of any perceived disability."

Boundless Playgrounds

Boundless Playgrounds is the leading national nonprofit developer of inclusive playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, gain the important developmental and physical benefits of unstructured play. There are more than 140 Boundless playgrounds in 26 states and Canada with dozens more under development. For more information about Boundless Playgrounds, visit www.boundlessplaygrounds.org.

About the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

The Department administers an enormous range of parks and recreational opportunities. Parks, beaches, mountain ranges, campgrounds and historical sites are close to every region of the City. The Department maintains over 15,000 acres of parkland with over 400 neighborhood and regional parks, eleven lakes and more than 180 recreation and community centers. The Department has, in addition to its parkland and numerous facilities, programs, classes and activities with adult classes, sports leagues and the country's largest municipal golf program. The Department is a premier provider for children's programs in the City of Los Angeles, with after school programs, 26 licensed child care facilities and sports programs in most of its facilities. The Department serves more than 1,000 children in its after school programs and more than 6,000 youths in its sports leagues. The Department is a world pioneer in inventing and implementing universal access playgrounds across the City at which children with or without disabilities can play together.