Kids in Des Moines will have a new playground at Steven J. Underwood Park this year, thanks to a $50,000 check delivered to the City of Des Moines last Friday by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.

The money represents the community match to a $245,000 King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grant to build an inclusive playground at the park. Another $637,000, according to the City’s 2020 budget, will come from Real Estate Excise Tax 2 funding.

“We are particularly proud that we were able to gain the support of King County to build an inclusive playground that enables children of different abilities to play together, ensuring no one is left out,” said Gene Achziger, Legacy president.

Legacy’s contribution is the first part of the Foundation’s ‘No Kids Left Inside’ project to raise private funds to help restore and place playground equipment at various City of Des Moines parks.

Achziger called the ‘No Kids Left Inside’ initiative an example the importance the community places on parks and recreation, especially for children.

“After years of watching the city’s playground equipment deteriorate and being told there were no funds to remedy the situation, Legacy formulated a plan that included raising money privately in order to meet the requirements of outside funders,” he said.

“Someone had to step up to get the ball rolling and Legacy’s efforts prove that the private sector of this community places a priority on its kids,” Achziger added.

In addition to the Steven J. Underwood Park project, the Legacy Foundation has pledged another $25,000 towards the restoration of play equipment at Field House Park.