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Pro Bono Publico 2013 Winners
Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF) is pleased to announce Marika Frankenstein, Joy Kuebler, Melissa Leopard and Catherine Faust, (as shown from left to right) as the recipients of the 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award in Distinguished Service for the Pop-Up Park Adventure Playground Project. This award recognizes exemplary pro bono services, rendered in the public interest without fee or with a significant reduction in fees, provided to not-for-profit clients.
Observing the proliferation of electronic toys and elaborate prefabricated play structures, a group of parents, including an environmental activist, a landscape architect, an educator and an architect, collaborated to reinstate the child’s right to imaginative play. This dynamic team committed to host a creative, open-ended event to encourage children’s curiosity about the natural and human-made world through self-directed play and construction projects. In June 2012, the first Pop Up Park Adventure Playground temporarily transformed a vacant lot on Buffalo’s East side.
The success of the first playground inspired the team to continue and expand their mission, leading to four additional events engaging over 100 children and 50 adult volunteers. Locations included the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Seneca Babcock Neighborhood and Canalside, which was supported by the award of the US Play Coalition Action Grant. Children tinker with supplied tools and materials to re-imagine everyday objects and create unique play experiences, building teeter-totters, obstacle courses, tire swings, slides and unexpected structures. The participating children (and adults) gain new skills, inventively respond to challenges, make new friends, and, of course, have lots of fun. The innovative team plans to continue their efforts with Buffalo’s inner-city youth; energizing and enlightening children through the limitless play possibilities of Pop Up Park Adventure Playgrounds.
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