At Livie & Luca we are strong believers in the importance of play. We feel it should be a basic right for children to have access to safe and stimulating play spaces no matter where they live. The biggest way we can make an impact is by focusing in on communities where the investment of our time, money, and ourselves will make a difference.
Last year we built a playground near the Iron Triangle in a struggling neighborhood of Richmond, California. You’ll now see members of this community sitting on park benches under the new trees watching their children climbing, swinging, playing soccer, and skateboarding. A recent neighborhood report has shown crimes rates in the surrounding buildings have fallen by 20%. It was such an honor to work alongside the City of Richmond, and the community, in this revitalization effort.
We realize our work in Richmond is not done and we would like to continue our mission to foster play by building another playground in the area. The City of Richmond partnered with us to locate the community of Parchester Village, just outside the city of Richmond, because it was a place we felt could be most impacted by our efforts.
Parchester is a predominantly African American community that was built in 1949 as the first residential development in Richmond after WWII temporary housing was torn down. At first glance, Parchester feels like a place that’s been forgotten, with its high crime rate, potholed streets, and barred windows, but underneath there is a richness of spirit and memory in the long-time residents.
We’ve gotten to know a few of the locals who talk with great pride about the vibrant and safe town Parchester used to be, and their efforts to keep its heart beating. A local minister speaks of how they used to fish and swim at Breuner Marsh with the feeling of safety and freedom. A woman who currently runs the only community garden in Parchester also drives around the neighborhood with her husband to offer free lawn mowing services to its residents. They, and others, believe that a beautiful park and playground can bring people out of their houses again and encourage the rebuilding of that energized and happy community they once knew.
As with the last playground, we’ll have a Design Day where the entire community can give input on what they would most like to see at their park. So far, a pleasant area to picnic, tether ball courts (tether ball used to be a big deal in this community!), and dugouts for the current baseball field are on the list. We also plan on making the park a place for people of all ages, equipped with many types of sensory experiences.
When you buy a pair of these early release, multicolored Petals, you will help to bring hope and joy to the residents of Parchester. 100% of the proceeds will be used to fund this playground build. Let’s build another playground!