Two clubs win 2022 Legacy of Play Contest

Kiwanis International | Oct 19, 2022

Kiwanis Club of Albert Lea and South Lake

Is anything more joyful than the sight of kids at play? Landscape Structures and Kiwanis International believe that playgrounds are a great way to promote play — so much so that they’ve recently announced two winners in the ninth annual Legacy of Play Contest.

The Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club in Albert Lea, Minnesota, U.S., and the Kiwanis Club of South Lake in Clermont, Florida, U.S., are co-winners of the 2022 Legacy of Play contest, sponsored by Kiwanis International and Landscape Structures Inc. Each Kiwanis club will receive US$25,000 in inclusive playground equipment.

“Oh wow!” exclaimed Sarah Stultz, member of the Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club, after learning her club was named a winner. “Our club is celebrating its 100th anniversary next week so this will be a great addition to that celebration.”

In Albert Lea, plans for an inclusive playground will give children with physical disabilities an opportunity to play with other kids. The playground will include a special pour-in-place surface that is ADA-accessible and provide a rich sensory environment that allows all children to grow and learn at their own pace — physically, socially and emotionally. In addition to playground equipment, the park will have educational activity panels, musical chimes, pipes and drums.

The Albert Lea club is hoping to break ground on the playground project in spring 2023.

In Clermont, residents enjoy numerous amenities, but many residents say the community lacks one thing: inclusive playground equipment. The Kiwanis Club of South Lake is serving as the project manager, a responsibility that includes planning, fundraising and project design. As the only playground of its kind in the area, the club believes this will be a special place for families.

“Wow! That is awesome!” laughed Mike Henleben, a member of the South Lake club. “I can’t wait to bring this news to the club. And the community; they’ve been Facebooking me, asking ‘Did we win? Did we win?’”

Playground installation is expected to begin between October and December 2023.

“On behalf of Landscape Structures, I would like to congratulate the Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club and the Kiwanis Club of South Lake on co-winning the Legacy of Play contest,” said Pat Faust, president of Landscape Structures. The company is a leading manufacturer of playground equipment and works with communities of all sizes to develop play spaces for adults and children of all abilities.  

“These two clubs brought forth some incredible projects,” Faust said, “and we’re honored to award both clubs US$25,000 and help them bring inclusivity to communities in Minnesota and Florida. We are thankful for the clubs’ commitments to their community, inclusion and play. We look forward to working together with Kiwanis members and the communities of Albert Lea and Clermont to bring life to these inclusive playgrounds.”

Elizabeth Warren, director of programs and partnerships at Kiwanis International, was thrilled to see so many strong entries for this year’s contest.  

“The judges looked at Kiwanis club involvement for each project, among other things,” Warren said. “We had a high level of participation, and it shows that clubs want to roll up their sleeves to improve communities.”

Both clubs have until December 2024 to complete their projects. Learn more about the Legacy of Play contest.


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