Ravens ACT Foundation Play 60 Grant
Name of Organization: Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park
Address: 8020 Baltimore National Pike City: Ellicott City State: MD Zip: 21403
Website address: http://fpvsp.org/Hollofield_Playground_Brochure.pdf
Contact person: Don Wecker Title: Project Manager
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What geographical area do you serve? Baltimore, Ellicott City
Federal Tax ID number: 522066485
Question 1: Brief Description of the Organization
The Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park is the official grassroots support group of the Patapsco Valley State Park. We envision the Park’s Hollofield Play Space as a universally designed, inclusive area that meets the needs of every adult and child, regardless of ability, resulting in maximum physical activity.
Question 2: Give a brief description of the deficiencies and needs that led to the program implementation.
4,536,000 children below the age of 15 years old are living with a disability (US Census). Approximately 14,000 disabled and able-bodied children below the age of 14 live in Howard County, Maryland (US Census). As Baltimore-area community members, we must acknowledge these startling facts. We must also recognize the unique needs of disabled children’s recreational play. Without a universally designed play structure, disabled children lack the access to play with able-bodied children in a fully accessible, natural-looking, and safe structure.
Question 3: Brief description of the program and number of actual and/or projected participants.
The Hollofield Play Space will have ramps for disabled children and steps for able-bodied children, so both can maximize the slide area without any differentiation. This inclusive physical play at the Play Space meets the physical, psychological, and sociological needs of all disabled and abled-bodied children who reside in Howard County, live in surrounding Maryland counties, or come to visit Maryland. Our envisioned Nature Nook is the final step in our three-stage action plan (outlined and discussed on our website: http://fpvsp.org/Hollofield_Playground_Brochure.pdf) for developing the Hollofield Play Space and engaging the 263,903 visitors to the park each year.
Question 4: Give a brief description of how the funds will be used.
To meet the Baltimore area’s need for a universal playground design, the Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park requests funding for six mushroom seats, which are needed for active engagement in educational workshops, nature programs, and outdoor physical activities. These Play Space events will increase movement, athleticism, and health-consciousness. After participating in an active and fun exploration of the Play Space, the children will relax and rest while participating in educational programming about the Park’s many physical activity opportunities. This funding will fulfill the vision that offers an opportunity to play, learn, and be active in a fully inclusive space.
Question 5: What does the program plan to achieve?
The nature education programs at the Nature Nook will allow caregivers and children, regardless of their age, diversity, or abilities, the opportunity to enjoy physical play, to develop creative imaginations, and to become future environmental stewards.
Our current environmental programs and events for environmental stewardship include:
1) Volunteers at Avalon Visitor Center
a) State Park information on Avalon Area: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/patapscoavalon.asp
2) Removal of heavy river debris
a) Patapsco River/Ellicott City and Patapsco Valley State Park/Daniels areas
b) Press release: http://www.americanrivers.org/blog/not-your-typical-cleanup/
3) Removal of invasive species
a) Current project: Wavyleaf Basketgrass
4) Family Fun Day–Annual Event
a) An afternoon of crafts, critter encounters, disc golf, nature programs, and ice cream
b) Pictures available here: http://fpvsp.org/familyfunday2012.pdf
5) Ongoing support of Boy Scout Eagle projects at the Park
6) Dam Be Gone! Project
a) Facilitated removal of Union and Simkins Dams and engaged in feasibility study for removal of Bloede Dam
b) Press release: http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/bloededam/index.asp
Specifically, the Nature Nook is slated to increase:
- % of visitors and volunteers who enter the Hollofield area, which will encourage greater attendance at the events listed above
- % of children engaging in play with the Discovery Backpacks, which contain nature-related exploration toys to improve educational and physical awareness
- % of participants in nature and physical educational programs
- % of participation in physical and educational programming
- Park naturalist delivers programming on a weekly/monthly basis
- Children sit in the mushroom seat area of the Nature Nook
Question 6: How do you measure success?
The completion of the Hollofield Play Space will increase the level of inclusive social bonding and play among able-bodied and disabled children. The universal design of this Play Space is also slated to strengthen community ties and lend greater accessibility for physical, educational, and nature play. The Hollofield Play Space will provide a location that will positively impact the quality of life for patrons through the tolerance and acceptance of differences. Our long-term success will be determined by an increase in physical activity, which may increase the health of Play Space visitors. These efforts may negate the obesity levels and number of children with nature deficit disorder in the Baltimore area.
Question 7: Number of and qualifications of the program staff.
The Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park include 300 members acting as part-time volunteers, 10 board members who have no expenses except liability insurance, 10 students working on grant projects, and no paid staff.
Once hired, the park naturalist at the Nature Nook will:
- Be an unpaid volunteer or a staff member paid by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Encourage children to participate in events and programs
- Inform visitors of accessible paths
- Distribute Discovery Backpacks
- Deliver hands-on, family-focused learning and activity experiences
- Offer opportunities for environmental discovery and physical activity
Program Start Date: April 2012 Program End Date: April 2016
Total amount required for program $671,811 Total raised to date $90,811
Total amount requested from Ravens ACT Foundation $4,665.00
Program Coordinator (print name) Don Wecker
Program Coordinator signature: