Since 2009, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has helped communities across the country gain access to quality parks and recreation with its Parks Build Community program, which provides safe and inclusive parks and playgrounds for thousands of people each year with the help of local partners and industry manufacturers. These parks provide tremendous benefits to the community, including bringing families and friends together for local events and outdoor activities, promoting physical well-being through sports and recreation, and learning about nature and wildlife ecosystems.
In 2020, NRPA announced that Grand Avenue Park in Orlando, Florida, had been selected for its 10th Parks Build Community project. The 12-acre park is centrally located in the heart of Orlando and adjacent to a community center that is being renovated by the city, making it a well-deserved location for the project. Amenities for the park include playgrounds, sports equipment, fitness equipment stations with shade coverings, outdoor musical instruments, lighting, movie screen, benches, picnic tables, game tables, drinking fountains, waste cans, and barbeque grills.
“The city of Orlando would like to thank NRPA and their generous donors for supporting the 2020 Parks Build Community project at Grand Avenue Park,” says Lisa Early, director of the city of Orlando Department of Families, Parks and Recreation. The generosity has allowed for equipment and facilities to be installed that otherwise would not, due to cost constraints. “These in-kind equipment and service donations total [more than] $450,000.”
“GARED’s ongoing mission and at the heart of everything we do is to celebrate sports and play in local communities, so we were thrilled for the opportunity to partner once again with NRPA for their Parks Build program,” said Laura St. George, Vice President of Sales at GARED.
As an industry-leading manufacturer of institutional athletic equipment, GARED is proud to be sole donor of sports products for the park, which includes inground batting cages, portable soccer and lacrosse goals, basketball backboards and rims, and bleacher seating. These items will provide recreational sport opportunities for adults and children of all ages for many years to come.
Park construction and opening were delayed several months due to ongoing COVID restrictions, but the park was finally able to open to the public at its grand opening ceremony on June 5, 2021.
“Redeveloping Grand Avenue is part of our efforts to invest in city neighborhoods by providing residents with amenities and programs to help them thrive,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at the groundbreaking event. “I look forward to having children’s laughter once again fill these historic halls as we return Grand Avenue to a place of compassion and support for the community.”