Houghton College Receives KABOOM! Grant to Build Creative Campus Play Space

The KPAC KidsZone is designed around inclusivity and safety, bringing play features to a part of the campus frequented by children and inviting them to engage with Houghton College and each other in creative ways. The KPAC KidsZone brings bouldering play, pickleball, four-square, pick-up sports and digging play to the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex. Located just behind the Burke Field bleachers, this non-traditional play space provides seating and natural barriers, while restricting access to unsafe areas.

“According to the Play Everywhere report published by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation, there is a significant lack of outdoor play space available to the children of Allegany County. Houghton College is thrilled to be part of the solution by creating the KPAC KidsZone,” states Amanda Zambrano, grant writer and KPAC KidsZone project manager. “We are excited to welcome children to Houghton College, whether they’re visiting with older siblings, attending a sporting event, or simply need a nearby place to exercise their bodies and engage with others.”

In a time when outdoor recreation has become increasingly important, the KPAC KidsZone will play an important role as an intergenerational meeting space where college students, children and adults of all ages can recreate in safe and healthy ways. Construction on the KPAC KidsZone is slated to begin in spring 2021, with a hope to complete installation in the late summer.

Houghton College welcomes community members to consider being a part of this project through donations of time or play equipment such as Frisbees, pickleball equipment, soccer balls and pop-up nets, or digging toys for young children. For more information about how you can be involved in the creation of the KPAC KidsZone, please contact Amanda Zambrano in the Houghton College Office of Advancement at 585.567.9553.

The Built to Play initiative aims to give kids in Western New York and Southeast Michigan more opportunities for unstructured, kid-driven free play. This need was identified in the regional “State of Play” reports conducted by the Aspen Institute and supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and through research conducted by both The Skatepark Project and KABOOM!. Learn more about the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and these opportunities by visiting www.RWBuiltToPlay.org.