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Seattle Parks & Recreation, The CarMax Foundation and KABOOM! Unveil Kid-Designed Playground at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park

Community joins forces with nonprofit to advance playspace equity in Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park

Seattle/Washington (October 26, 2023) – Today, the community at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park in Seattle, Washington is celebrating as the City debuts a community-designed, community-built playground. The months-long collaboration between Seattle Parks & Recreation, The CarMax Foundation, and KABOOM! culminated this week as more than 80 volunteers built the new play space that will spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for kids each year in the Central District Community.  

The new playground is collaborative effort by community members who presented creative ideas for their dream playground during a design day in August.

“Today marks a significant milestone the Central District community, the kid-designed playground at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, is a testament to the collaborative efforts of Seattle Parks & Recreation, The CarMax Foundation, and KABOOM!,” said AP Diaz, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “This vibrant space, imagined by the creativity of our children, stands as a symbol of our commitment to fostering inclusive play and community engagement. This initiative embodies our shared vision for healthy people, a thriving environment, and a vibrant community. “

Playing is the essence of childhood and is a critical developmental need that provides countless physical, social, and mental health benefits. However, far too many children, especially in communities of color, do not have a place to play near where they live or learn. KABOOM! is working to end playspace inequity, ensuring that kids have access to quality places to play, something that should be part of every child’s life. The new playground at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, designed with the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations in mind, brings the City of Seattle one step closer toward ending playspace inequity and ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to experience the joys and benefits of play.

“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park and ensure that kids in the City of Seattle have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn, and unlock their greatest potential.”

The CarMax Foundation has provided the majority of funding for the new playground through its $3.9 million partnership with KABOOM!, furthering its commitment to ending playspace inequity. Over the past decade, the Foundation has invested $17.5 million to create 200 playspaces and counting across the country with the volunteer support of more than 12,000 CarMax associates.

“CarMax is proud to partner with local communities where we live and work to provide access to playspaces for children who need them,” said Jason Ancarrow, president of The CarMax Foundation. “It’s exciting to help bring a playground to life that was designed by and for the community and our associates are energized by volunteering together and alongside the families that will enjoy the playgrounds for years to come.”


About Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) equips employees and the public for well-being as we support healthy people, a thriving environment and vibrant community. We provide safe and accessible spaces for residents and visitors to work, recreate, rejuvenate and enhance quality of life and wellness for children, teenagers, adults and seniors. SPR manages a 6,441-acre park system of over 489 parks and extensive natural areas. SPR provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises about 12% of the city’s land area. SPR also manages many facilities, including 25 community centers, eight indoor swimming pools, two outdoor (summer) swimming pools, two environmental education centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium, and much more.

About The CarMax Foundation

The CarMax Foundation promotes the causes associates care about to impact the communities where they live and work. Together with CarMax, Inc., the Foundation has donated more than $90 million since 2003. Funding programs are made available through a portion of CarMax, Inc.’s pre-tax profits. CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used autos, revolutionized the automotive retail industry by driving integrity, honesty and transparency in every interaction. The company offers a truly personalized experience with the option for customers to do as much, or as little, online and in-store as they want. During the fiscal year ended February 28, 2023, CarMax sold approximately 810,000 used vehicles and 590,000 wholesale vehicles at its auctions. In addition, CarMax Auto Finance originated nearly $9 billion in receivables during fiscal 2023, adding to its nearly $17 billion portfolio. CarMax has over 240 stores, more than 30,000 associates, and is proud to have been recognized for 19 consecutive years as one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. CarMax is committed to making a positive impact on people, communities and the environment. Learn more in the 2022 Responsibility Report. For more information, visit


KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at or join the conversation on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.