Newsmakers: Com. Jeff Lunde Talks About Kaboom! Partnership
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Lunde says Hennepin County is working on a partnership with a national nonprofit that focuses on play space equity called Kaboom!.
“We’ve been trying to tackle how can we tackle mental health challenges and how can we do it in a positive way and this is one of those ways,” said Lunde. “It’s called PlaYces to Play and it’s about bringing play to where people are.”
Lunde says the play spaces could be at light rail stations or grocery stores. The collaboration is in its earliest stages, and Hennepin County staff are working on a contract with Kaboom!.
How is play connected to mental health?
Lunde says think about the first day of spring when there’s sunshine and the snow is melting. You can feel the weather change in the air, and that also impacts your mental health.
“That feeling has an environmental affect on your mental health. You feel differently and so play can play that role,” explained Lunde.
Lunde has experience with the Kaboom! organization, as he worked with them when the nonprofit had projects in Brooklyn Park. This will be the first partnership between Kaboom! and a county, and play spaces would be located all over the county.
He says next summer you can expect to see more opportunities to give input, but in the meantime if you have a good idea, let his office know.
“Not all ideas are good ideas. We try to find the right ones to fund,” said Lunde.