10 Aug Grand Opening of PNC Grow Up Great® Playground at Inwood Park
Cincinnati Parks and the Cincinnati Parks Foundation officially dedicated the Inwood Park PNC Grow Up Great® Playground at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. The new playground, located on the circle drive of Wellington Place in the Mount Auburn neighborhood, is now the largest play area in any Cincinnati Park, with fun and challenging play features for children ages 2 through 12.
A $150,000 grant from the PNC Foundation helped replace a 20-year-old playground. The Inwood Park PNC Grow Up Great® Playground is the first-of-its-kind, fully accessible location for all children, and benefits an underserved community located two miles from downtown Cincinnati. Included among the playground’s features are a wheelchair accessible spinner, a 90-foot zip line, “tot”-sized houses, musical instruments, a swingset featuring a fully accessible ADA swing and a “drag strip” for foot races.
“We are extremely pleased with the way the Inwood Park PNC Grow Up Great® Playground has come to fruition,” said Kay Geiger, PNC regional president for Cincinnati. “Investing in the revitalization of Inwood Park not only enhances the neighborhood, it stands as an example of our commitment to the residents of the Mount Auburn community and our belief in the future of their historic neighborhood. This fully accessible playground will transform the way the community comes together to thrive and interact through the power of play.”
In 2019, local children were invited to a design and planning activity to describe what their dream playground would look like, including drawing playground ideas, voting on playground elements and participating in an open discussion. Cincinnati Parks used the children’s ideas for inspiration. Inclusion and accessibility experts from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital advised on the playground’s accessible features and final design.
“On behalf of our Parks Commissioners and the entire Cincinnati Parks team, we are immensely grateful for the generosity of the PNC Foundation and our partners at the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, who made this very special project possible,” said Kara Kish, director of Cincinnati Parks. “When this process began, we asked children from the surrounding community what kind of playground they would like to have in the park. Today, thanks to our partners, we are thrilled to bring their amazing ideas to life.” The $150,000 PNC Foundation grant was part of an anniversary celebration of PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative of PNC that prepares children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. PNC Bank provides employees with 40 hours of paid time off each year for Grow Up Great volunteerism. Employees can earn grants of up to $3,000 each year to be awarded to a partner early learning organization. To date, employee volunteerism has resulted in $7.2 million in grants across PNC’s markets.
Begun in 2004 and built on the understanding that education is a powerful means for economic and social mobility, PNC Grow Up Great provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community partners to enhance children’s learning and development.
“The Cincinnati Parks Foundation and its board of directors are grateful to have partnered again with PNC for the design and development of another beautiful new playground in the Cincinnati Park system,” said Jennifer Spieser, Cincinnati Parks Foundation Executive director. “PNC’s gift replaced an aged playground within Inwood Park, which is fully accessible, and includes the first-ever zipline in a Cincinnati Park! For more than 20 years, PNC has been committed to supporting various Cincinnati Parks projects, and we are most appreciative.”
Inwood Park is a 19.898 acre park located at 2326 Vine Street. The original land was once an old stone quarry, acquired for the park in 1904. The park has many features, such as the lake, the granite boulder monument, picnic area, paved trail and two playgrounds – one at the top of the park off of Wellington Place and one at the lower park off of Vine Street. The park is identified in the Cincinnati Park Foundation’s Neighborhood Parks Campaign, focusing on the vitalization and improvement of geographically diverse Parks projects and programs throughout the city.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.