We are absolutely thrilled and honored to announce the Manitou Fund, under the direction of Nora McNeely Hurley, has granted Gwendolyn’s Playground $1,050,000. This incredible generosity will directly support building the Magical Tree, a first-of-its-kind, three-story, fully accessible, and fully inclusive play structure allowing people of all abilities to get to the top of the centerpiece of the playground — something the standard playground never provides. Each level of this custom-built Magical Tree greets multi-generational visitors with wonder and imagination; from a “Root Cave” at the bottom all the way up to the top where guests will find a “Little Inclusive Library” and a playful “Inclusive Art Mural” by Santa Barbara painter Fred Calleri. Throughout the artfully designed ramping families can play, slide down slides, climb through ropes, and experiment with STEM-inspired installations.
“Gwendolyn’s Playground will benefit generations of deserving children and their families well into the future. I am humbled, thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to support this project, an artful, impactful destination for play and a source of great happiness and positivity in our community.” ~ Nora McNeely Hurley
We are so excited to see our vision coming to life. With the Manitou Fund’s generous support, we have now raised over $4 Million of our $6 Million goal and are so close to bringing equitable play to Santa Barbara. Now more than ever, the hard-learned lessons of the pandemic have highlighted the critical importance of inclusion, diversity, equity and kindness within our communities. Gwendolyn’s Playground not only finally allows children of all abilities to play side by side – it elevates the standard of play for everyone and is a space that brings the entire community together to foster these common goals.
Join us in building this magical space!