Volunteers to Build New Playground in Lyell Otis Neighborhood

Grant earned through Allstate Foundation, Injury Free Coalition for Kids

July 12, 2007

The Injury Free Coalition for Kids, based out of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong’s Emergency Department, has been awarded a $60,000 Little Hands Allstate Foundation grant – with the help of the Lyell Otis Neighborhood Association and the City of Rochester – to build a new playground at JP Riley Park. The playground will be built Saturday, July 14, by about 25 volunteers from the hospital and neighborhood, including teenagers from the Edgerton Community Center.

“This project shows that somebody in the city is taking an interest in the children in the area,” said Mike Visconte, president of the Lyell Otis Neighborhod Association. “It’s great to see revitalization in the Lyell Otis neighborhood.”

In addition to the Allstate Foundation grant for the playground equipment, an additional grant of $10,000 from the Regional Allstate office will go toward maintenance of the new playground. The grants, which aim to build safe playgrounds in communities across the country, enable the community to remove playground equipment that, in many cases, is older than the parents of children who play in Riley Park (130 Santee St., near Villa Street). Building the new playground will hopefully reduce injuries by providing neighborhood children with a safer place to play.

“As pediatric emergency department physicians, it’s not often enough that we get to intervene and prevent injuries,” said Anne Brayer, M.D., associate professor of pediatric emergency medicine with the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Emergency Department and co-director of the Rochester chapter of Injury Free Coalition for Kids. “It’s incredibly gratifying that I can help this community build a safer playground so that I, hopefully, won’t see their children in the ED later on.”

The demolition of the old equipment was completed earlier this month. The new playground will be built by volunteers on Saturday, July 14 (please call Karen Knauf, coordinator of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids Rochester chapter, at (585) 463-2957 to volunteer). The new playground will be dedicated at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26.

The playground project is an example of what the community can do when organizations collaborate for a common cause. The Injury Free Coalition for Kids, the City of Rochester and the Lyell Otis Neighborhood Association worked together to secure the grant funding from Allstate and community volunteers will build the playground. (A similar coalition built a playground in Maplewood Park two years ago.)

“I want to thank the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, the Allstate Foundation and the Lyell Otis Neighborhood Association for their collaboration with the City to bring a safe, new playground to one of our many City parks,” said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. “I also want to thank the volunteers who participated in this team project. I appreciate their commitment and look forward to continuing to work together to keep our children safe and build a better Rochester.”

For Media Inquiries:
Heather Hare
(585) 273-2840
Email Heather Hare