Our Build Story

Our Build Story

A group of citizens dreamed about creating a playground at Robbins Island. Vision 2040, community members and the City got behind that dream. They set out to build a destination playground and in the process, they built community. Constructed May 16–25, 2017 by 3,792 community volunteers and financed by privately raised funds. Dedicated to our children on June 23, 2017.

What initially began as a ‘what if’ idea blossomed into a community-wide effort to construct the five-state area’s largest and the nation’s third-largest fully accessible playground.
In the summer of 2016, that initial idea prompted several community members to come together to form a Steering Committee which began the snowball effect that would make that idea come to life. The Committee members brainstormed plans for the Playground and decided the best way to involve the entire community was to start with the children who would use it. Leathers & Associates was pulled in to help with logistics but the Playground design came straight from the drawings and ideas of local children. Leathers & Associates turned these drawings into a master plan and the Committee set to work raising the money to bring the plan to fruition.

While the project received a major boost from Lead Donor Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. with a $500,000 donation, individuals and other local businesses also contributed to help raise a total of $1.1 million. A portion of those funds now live in a dedicated maintenance fund for the playground at the Willmar Area Community Foundation.

With the fundraising goal met in the spring of 2017, the build dates were set for May 16-25, 2017. Despite the Minnesota gamut of weather that ranged from hot and humid to cold rain and mud, the build took place as scheduled and 3,792 community members stepped up to bring the final pieces of the puzzle to life. On June 24, 2017, the Playground officially opened.

While the sheer size and incredible features are certainly impressive, what stands out most about this Playground is the community that worked together to create a regional gem that all can be proud of.
 More About Our Story

Willmar teams together to build Accessible playground -
one of nation's largest