FOH wins $15k grant from Johns Hopkins to replace Hampden Elementary School playground

We have great news! The Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund has awarded us a $15,000 grant for the Hampden Elementary School playground replacement project! With this grant and funds pledged by the Friends of Hampden and other sources, we now have around $40,000 in our playground account.

Initial estimates for resurfacing the play area and replacing the equipment total approximately $75,000 – $170,000 (depending on many factors such as demolition, labor, and design). Our organization is actively seeking additional private and corporate donors, as well as further grant funds, for the project.

In addition, we are currently looking for community members to join the playground committee to help steer this project to completion. Please contact us at to get involved!

Here is some background on the playground project: Daily use of the current playground by students and the community over the past 12 years has taken its toll on the existing equipment and play surface. It may not be apparent at first glance, but a growing list of health and safety concerns exists, including:

  • Broken and missing pieces of the equipment that have resulted in several injuries to date
  • Standing water around and under the eroding play surface that presents potential health hazards such as mosquito larvae and bacteria growth
  • Equipment that does not serve the needs and diverse abilities of all Hampden #55 students

Preliminary plans for the new playground include:

  • State-of-the-art equipment, designed for 21st century play
  • Rubberized surface and drainage remediation
  • Inclusive design elements to serve all ages and abilities

Click here to donate and help us reach our goal! To get involved in fundraising efforts or to host an event to benefit the cause, please contact us at