News Release – 10/4/2023 – City of Bethlehem to Unveil Kid-Designed, Community-Built Playground with Pennsylvania Municipal League and KABOOM! at Fairview Park

Bethlehem joins forces with The League to advance playspace equity in Bethlehem

City of Bethlehem: Sara Satullo | 610-419-9003 |
The League: Debbie Bitting | 717-236-9469, x*223 |

City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Municipal League and KABOOM! Unveil Kid-Designed, Community-Built Playground at Fairview Park
Bethlehem joins forces with The League to advance playspace equity in Bethlehem

Bethlehem, PA (October 4, 2023) – Today, children and teens at Fairview Park in Bethlehem are celebrating the debut of a new kid-designed playground. The months-long collaboration culminated this week as volunteers installed the new playspace which will spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for kids in Bethlehem. It was made possible through the partnership between the City of Bethlehem, The League, and KABOOM!, along with the generous support of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Infradapt, Bethlehem Parking Authority, Highmark, Lehigh Valley Health Network, The GIANT Company, and Peron Development.

“The League is thrilled to help build a new playground in Fairview Park with the City of Bethlehem, KABOOM!, DCNR and our outstanding funding partners,” said League Executive Director John Brenner. “Safe playspaces are critically important to children, families and neighborhoods.”

“During the planning process, West Bethlehem residents of all ages passionately shared their visions for an improved Fairview Park,” said Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds. “This week, we got to roll up our sleeves together for three days to make them a reality.”

Community members led the creation of the playground, from design to installation. In May, kids from Bethlehem shared drawings of their dream playspaces with project organizers. These ideas were integrated into the new playground design.

“DCNR is proud to support this rehabilitation project at Fairview Park and we thank the city of Bethlehem for prioritizing outdoor recreation with these improvements, most notably with the addition of ADA accessible play equipment and through safety improvements,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “We also thank the Pennsylvania Municipal League and KABOOM! for always being wonderful partners in our shared goal of expanding access to local parks and recreation in Pennsylvania’s urban areas.”

“Infradapt is privileged to serve municipalities throughout the state in their mission to support and transform their communities,” said company President Antonio Haddad. “Participation in this project with the Pennsylvania Municipal League truly reflects our firm’s dedication to nurturing a better future for all.”

“We’re excited to be a part of this great community project,” said Steven Fernstrom, Executive Director of the Bethlehem Parking Authority. “Our heartfelt gratitude goes to our incredible city and its administration for their outstanding vision and partnership, which has turned this playground build dream into a joyful reality for the children in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Pennsylvania Municipal League and KABOOM! to build this community playground,” says Kathleen McKenzie, Vice President of Community Affairs at Highmark Blue Shield. “These efforts will bring the Bethlehem community together, supporting our common mission to promote equitable access for children to play close to home.”

John Callahan with Peron Development said, “Peron Development always looks for opportunities to give back to the community. Fairview Park is very close to one of our recently completed projects, The Armory, so we are excited to be part of this park build.” 

“The GIANT Company’s purpose is to connect families for a better future and this project is a perfect embodiment of that,” said Aaysha Noor, head of diversity, equity, and inclusion, The GIANT Company. “We look forward to seeing families from across the region enjoy this new space and create meaningful memories.”

This playground is part of a nationwide effort led by KABOOM! to end playspace inequity – the reality that far too many children – especially children of color – do not get the chance to play on a playground, something that should be part of every child’s life. Their work is to ensure every kid can experience the numerous physical, social, and mental health benefits of play regardless of background or where they live. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the five-year initiative to accelerate efforts towards achieving their mission to end playspace inequity for good across the United States. This project represents progress in ensuring every kid has a place to play, providing a state-of-the-art playground for more than 300 children to enjoy each year.

“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood where kids collect some of their best memories and experience the countless physical and mental health benefits of play,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is excited to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at Fairview Park and ensure that generations of kids in Bethlehem can grow up happy and healthy through access to playspaces where they feel they are valued and belong.”

This playground build was planned to kick off the Municipal Leadership Summit, a convening of elected and appointed municipal officials from across the state, taking place at the Wind Creek Hotel in Bethlehem this week, October 5-8.

To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owner/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at


About City of Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a city of 75,000 people in eastern Pennsylvania – a city known for its rich colonial and industrial history. Today Bethlehem is experiencing an economic and cultural renaissance promising a future as bright as the city’s past. Bethlehem’s City Hall is located at 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem PA 18018 |

About Pennsylvania Municipal League
The mission of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (The League) is to strengthen, empower and advocate for effective local government. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1900 as an advocate for Pennsylvania’s 3rd class cities. Today, The League represents Pennsylvania cities, boroughs, townships, and home rule communities that all share their municipal policy interests. The Board of Directors oversees the administration of a wide array of municipal services including legislative advocacy, publications, education/training, consulting-based programs, and group insurance trusts. For more information, please visit Join the conversation on Twitter @PAMunicipalLeag, #StrengthThroughEngagement, #MunicipalLeadershipSummit23, and LinkedIn.

KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.