2011 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

2011 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
For 12 years, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), in partnership with KaBOOM!, has held a one-day volunteer build during the AAOS Annual Meeting to leave a legacy to the meeting’s host city so that parents, grandparents and children can safely play and exercise together. On Feb. 15, 2011, nearly 600 volunteers from across the country arrived at the Spring Valley Youth and East Communities Center (SVYECC) near San Diego to transform an empty site into a brand new, community-designed 6,100-square foot multigenerational-use and accessible Family Fitness and Fun Park in just seven hours.

The park was made possible by the AAOS which sponsored the $200,000 plus project in partnership with San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), the Spring Valley Youth and Family Coalition (SVYFC), the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play for America’s children. The project is the Academy’s 12th build completed in cities across the country, demonstrating a long-term commitment to improving public facilities and raising awareness about accessibility, fitness and injury prevention. This program emphasizes the value of public spaces and how parks promote physically active lifestyles for people of all ages.

The Family Fitness and Fun Park transformed the grounds into a community gathering spot designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities, which is critical to the continued use of any public facility. This park features two separate playgrounds: one designed for children ages 2-5 and another for children ages 5-12. The special features provide activities for adults of all ages including a quarter-mile walking trail, and seven exercise stations where community members can perform weight-training, flexibility and balance exercises such as tai chi to help reduce and prevent falls, build strong bones and give those recovering from joint replacement a safe place to exercise.

The Family Fitness and Fun Park at the SVYCC will eventually serve at least 10,000 children and adults in the San Diego area. The park also includes a 3,000-square foot community garden and a weekly Farmer’s Market. Because of this addition and the community’s support and enthusiasm, the site was selected to serve as one of only five Regional Garden Education Centers in San Diego County. The partnership by the Academy and KaBOOM! has invigorated and transformed this local San Diego neighborhood. The collaborative efforts of the Academy, KaBOOM! and the neighborhood organizations resulted in a new, multi-generational park that will serve thousands of local residents. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and KaBOOM! have an unwavering commitment to stewardship of public lands and provision of safe play spaces.