On October 24th ACE Leadership and NMASLA (New Mexico American Society of Landscape Architects) held the first Pop-Up Playground in New Mexico at ACE Leadership High School. A Pop-Up Playground is a one-day event during which community members come together to provide children with an opportunity for free play.
The event drew 130 participants and 60 volunteers for a day of creativity and community. Participants received safety training in the use of tools and building materials and were set free to construct their own playground. The event demonstrates that a playground is not merely a series of slides and platforms, but rather a space where community members can unite to inspire and learn from each other.
Children of all ages pitched in and constructed the playground to show what is possible in a community. The success of the event brought attention to important issues related to distribution and availability of public and recreational open space, equal access to play environments, and a community’s ability to affect positive change and improve access to these opportunities within their neighborhoods.
The mission of the Pop-Up Playground movement is that “(…) children have the right to play as they please, and that a place that supports children’s play benefits everyone.”
While this Pop-Up Playground was the first of its kind in NM, it certainly will not be its last.