M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County Joins KABOOM! in National Initiative to End Playspace Inequity

May 7, 2024
Oakcrest Community Center Playground Ribbon Cutting

25 in 5 Initiative Aims to Ensure Every Child Has an Amazing Place to Play


Angel Waldron | 301-446-3311 |   

Jordan Hebert |

RIVERDALE, Md. – Today, KABOOM! announced The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, as a partner in the national nonprofit’s 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the five-year plan to achieve playspace equity in 25 priority places, accelerating progress towards achieving their mission across the country.

Through the 25 in 5 Initiative, KABOOM! and The Department will lead an ambitious plan to address gaps in access to quality places to play in communities that disproportionately lack recreational resources. There are more than 245 playgrounds across Prince George’s County, with more than a third past their useful life and in need of immediate repair. Together, through 25 in 5, the partners will be able to replace the playgrounds at a faster rate to ensure every child has a safe, high-quality, and fun place to play.

Today’s announcement builds upon M-NCPPC’s Formula 2040: The Master Plan for Parks, Recreation, and Open Space that strives to achieve connectivity, health and wellness, and economic development in Prince George’s County. The partnership with KABOOM! aligns well with Formula 2040, helping to support the well-being and health of kids and their communities as we work toward playspace equity in the County.

“This is an opportunity for our community to have a wonderful new playspace for our children to enjoy and experience, and I am thrilled to see Prince George’s families get more of the facilities that they deserve right here in the County,” said Delegate Jazz Lewis.

Prince George’s County is the sixth location announced as an official partner in the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, joining Baltimore, MD; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; Uvalde, TX; and Saint Paul, MN. The Department and KABOOM! have been working together since 2020 and will now accelerate progress through the 25 in 5 Initiative to support the urgent needs of kids in Prince George’s County. Leveraging data from both National and County sources, the partners will ensure the playgrounds built are in the areas identified as having the most significant and immediate needs.

The partnership was announced at the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the new playspace at Oakcrest Community Center in Capitol Heights, MD, on Friday, May 3rd. Representatives in attendance included Josh Morgan, Washington Legend; Washington Commanders representatives; Mark Washington, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; State Senator Joanne C. Benson; Delegate Jazz Lewis; Delegate Andrea Fletcher Harrison; Delegate Tiffany Alston; County Council Member Krystal Oriadha; and William Lash, Sr. CEO, Chirality Capital Consulting. Several more projects are planned for 2024, including another volunteer playground build in July at Palmer Park Community Center in Landover, MD. Ahead of each KABOOM! build, neighborhood youth are invited to join in the community planning process by drawing their dream playgrounds at a Design Day. Using these drawings as inspiration, playground designers create design options that are presented to the community for a final vote.

“This synergetic partnership with KABOOM! is truly a win-win!” said Bill Tyler, Director of The Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County. “We can more quickly accomplish our goal to replace or renovate aging playspaces operated and maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County. The additional support allows our talented and dedicated staff to utilize a multitude of resources, imagination, and pesticide-free options to deliver these incredible playspaces envisioned by the community more quickly than ever before.”

KABOOM! believes that vibrant playspaces are critical for kids to grow up happy and healthy, living in thriving communities. Yet, across the nation, there is widespread playspace inequity, the reality that communities of color disproportionally lack access to – and a sense of belonging in – quality playspaces. KABOOM! is committed to addressing this inequity by ensuring every child has access to quality places to play. With partners like M-NCPPC, they will unite with communities to ensure that every child can experience the critical developmental benefits of having quality places to play.

“Places to play are one of the building blocks for a happy and healthy childhood, and we want to make sure joyful playspaces are available everywhere for our kids,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “Together with The Department, we are using data to identify where there is the greatest need for playgrounds, addressing playspace inequity everywhere it exists so no child grows up lacking places to play and the rich developmental benefits needed to grow into their greatest potential.”

Acknowledging strong partnerships are critical to solve playspace inequity at scale, KABOOM! is building a coalition of 25 municipal agencies (school districts, parks and recreation departments, housing systems, etc.) and networks of nonprofit partners who are committed to addressing the urgent needs of kids. Visit to learn more about the 25 in 5 Initiative. Potential municipal partners are invited to complete the Interest Survey to start the process. Playspace inequity is an issue with deep roots, but it is solvable. Together, we can work to end playspace inequity for good.

About The Department

With over 28,000 acres of parkland, trails, athletic fields, playgrounds and more, the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County provides an award-winning park system through progressive, quality, innovative leadership, and a commitment to its community and environment. The Department delivers first-class recreational activities and programs for people of all ages and ability levels. It strives to improve the quality of life for residents in Prince George’s County and the communities in which they live, work, and raise families. The Department’s Formula 2040 Plan establishes a framework that will ensure the Department can meet future parks and recreation programmatic and facility needs, fulfilling its mission to determine the combination of land, facilities and programs that will provide appropriate experiences for Prince Georgians in the future. To learn more, 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 create or transform 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the critical 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 X, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.