Klamath Falls–Blue Zones Project® Press Release
Healthy Klamath in partnership with the City of Klamath Falls, and now Klamath County, are making strides in fundraising efforts for the new ADA-accessible destination playground in Moore Park.
Community members may remember in October 2019, elementary students were asked to draw and describe their dream playground. Based on the students’ input and drawings, a schematic design was created and unveiled on Design Day. More than a playground, this project will be a community gathering space for children of all abilities to enjoy. A focus of this project is to create a destination playground that is accessible to all families, with rubber surfaces and play structures that are ADA-friendly.
Artistic elements that showcase the culture and history of Klamath Basin will be incorporated into the design. With features such as a lava cave labyrinth, a Klamath Tule Hut, and an F-15 Jet, the custom designed, 18,000 square foot playground will replace the current play equipment located next to the tennis courts in Moore Park.
Recently, at the recommendation and request of Klamath County Developmental Disabilities Services Director Myles Maxey, the Klamath County Commissioners voted to approve a $12,000 sponsorship from Klamath County Developmental Disabilities Services.
The donation will be put toward purchasing an all-access merry-go-round, designed to allow children of all abilities an opportunity to experience the developmental benefits of outdoor and physical play.
Maxey stated, “We are excited to collaborate with Blue Zones Project® – Healthy Klamath and the City of Klamath Falls to provide opportunities for individuals throughout Klamath County to get outside, socialize, and play. Playground accessibility for individuals is a critical need within our community and we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for Klamath County to be more inclusive and a community of belonging, with this project being a step in that direction.”
The sponsorship of the merry-go-round from Klamath County Developmental Disabilities Services represents the largest equipment sponsorship that the project has received to-date. Local businesses and organizations can choose to sponsor equipment in the playground.
Equipment pricing ranges from $1,000 – $12,000, and organizations will receive a plaque next to the piece acknowledging their contribution. Additionally, composite fence posts that can be engraved to commemorate family and personal donations are available for $100.
The fundraising committee for the playground plans to reignite efforts this spring and begin sharing sponsorship opportunities more widely.
To get involved in the project, community members are invited to register on www.healthyklamath.org/playground, donate at givesignup.org/DonationWebsite/MooreParkPlayground, or follow the progress on www.facebook.com/MooreParkPlayground. Questions may be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Blue Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks.
Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is based on research by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five cultures of the world—or blue zones —with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being.
Currently, 56 communities across North America have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.8 million citizens. The population health solution includes two Health Districts in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Corry, Pennsylvania; Brevard, North Carolina; the Walla Walla Valley in Washington; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a partnership between Blue Zones, LLC, and Sharecare, Inc. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.
Klamath Falls is Oregon’s first Blue Zones Project Demonstration Community. To learn more about Blue Zones Project, contact the Blue Zones Project team in Klamath Falls at BlueZonesProject@healthyklamath.org, or visit www.healthyklamath.org/bluezones.