Pogo Park fundraising for its Summer Play Program at Elm Playlot

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Pogo Park fundraising for its Summer Play Program at Elm Playlot
Photo credit: Pogo Park

Elm Playlot, the internationally famous Iron Triangle park, is being prepped for another summer of free, enriching activities and play programs for Richmond children.

And the program needs the community’s help to make it happen.

Pogo Park’s 2018 Summer Play Program campaign is looking to raise $50,000 to support the costs of providing the programs to local kids.

Elm Playlot, which opened in 2014 at 720 Elm Ave., was built by Pogo Park staff, which consists entirely of Iron Triangle residents. The nonprofit transformed a formerly abandoned, broken pocket park into a safe, green and scenic space for children to play. It spent 10 years transforming the .5 acre park, and today it is a popular oasis for children and families. Summer play activities include art, chess, a mobile petting zoo, hip-hop dance, daily Zumba, a photo club, community garden, and Nature Club.

“We also plan to serve 5,000 meals to hungry children at the park this summer,” said Toody Maher, Pogo Park’s founder.

Pogo Park will be a crucial resource for the many local children who require somewhere to go and something to do when school gets out on June 7, Maher added.

Elm Playlot’s creation is not just popular among kids, but people around the world. Last week, a group of 20 international researchers visited the park to get a first-hand look at the community-driven urban greening effort that works to mitigate impacts of climate change.

Pogo Park has also sprouted into a skills training and career path for local residents, and also as a business. Last year, with help from a $1 million contribution from Chevron Richmond, part of a $10 million Chevron eQuip Richmond initiative, Pogo Park Products was launched.

Pogo Park Products is an Iron Triangle for-profit social enterprise that provides Pogo Park-created park designs and products to communities across the state looking to enrich their open spaces.

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