MANCHESTER, NH – The City of Manchester Parks and Recreation Department, Manchester Health Department, and the Gossler Park Elementary School are excited to announce that the new Gossler Park School’s Neighborhood Playground has finally become a reality.
As part of the Manchester Community Schools Project and the Manchester Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy, the Manchester Health Department started working on this project several years ago in partnership with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, which crafted a health impact assessment. The assessment, which was funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, aimed to redesign the Gossler Park School campus to support health, recreation, and safety.
Subsequently, to support the campus redesign, the Health Department received an anonymous donation of $35,000 that was also funded through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. This donation was further matched by funding from the Manchester School District, and an additional $15,000 was awarded by the Cogswell Benevolent Trust. With this funding in place, the plans began to take shape.
The Health Department then partnered with the Parks, Recreation & Cemeteries Department. Through this collaboration, the playground project was selected to receive a $35,000 play space grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company. Known as the Meet Me at the Park initiative, this investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.
“NRPA is proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help more children and families experience the benefits of play,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “By increasing access to play spaces, this program will also provide new activities that support healthy lifestyles in local communities.”
The new playground includes many innovative play structures designed specifically for inclusion and a broad range of ages from early childhood to upper elementary.
“We were looking for a few signature pieces where all kids could be excited about playing on the playground,” said Don Pinard, Chief of Parks.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous donations that have made this project possible,” said Lori Upham, Principal of Gossler Park Elementary School. “The children and families of the neighborhood deserve a safe place that supports play for everyone, and as a Community School, Gossler Park is excited to be known as a neighborhood destination for all families.”
A Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, November 17 at 11 a.m. at Gossler Park Elementary School (145 Parkside Avenue). For more information about this project, visit www.manchesternh.gov To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/disney.