Under Armour, ESPN, LISC team to create Baltimore play spaces

Under Armour, Inc. is partnering with ESPN and the Local Initiative Support Corp. (LISC) to fund renovation projects to transform vacant lots in Baltimore into safe and vibrant spaces for youth to participate in sports and recreational activities.

More than $400,000 in grants will be provided to local community-based organizations for projects to refurbish vacant lots into safe play spaces for youth and the community through an initiative called RePlay. Organizations can apply for grants here. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2018. Communities in Philadelphia and Los Angeles are also eligible.

Under Armour is no stranger to revitalizing communities with play space for recreational activities. In 2016, Under Armour opened the UA House, a revamped community center in East Baltimore.

In places like Baltimore, youth need more safe and accessible recreational spaces. More than one-third (36 percent) of East Baltimore youth surveyed by Project Play: Baltimore said they did not have or did not know of a safe place to play in their neighborhood. Additional research by Project Play: Baltimore shows that neighborhoods with the highest rate of gun violence incidents have the least access to recreation centers, bike lanes, and free transportation (see map below). Revitalization projects can help grow access to safe spaces for youth – spaces that can build community, provide outlets, and deliver on the vision for an East Baltimore in which all children have the opportunity to be active through sports.

To learn more about the initiative, read the article from the Baltimore Business Journal here.

 This is a heatmap on gun violence that shows that Madison-Eastend, Milton-Montford, Middle East, Johnston Square, Old Town, Dunbar-Broadway, and McElderry Park neighborhoods have the highest incidences of gun violence—an average of .77 incidents per 100 meters in 2014. The source of this data is from Open Baltimore. Also, featured on the map is the location of schools, parks, rec centers, pools, a ice rink, and a community center in the Project Play: Baltimore study area.

This is a heatmap on gun violence that shows that Madison-Eastend, Milton-Montford, Middle East, Johnston Square, Old Town, Dunbar-Broadway, and McElderry Park neighborhoods have the highest incidences of gun violence—an average of .77 incidents per 100 meters in 2014. The source of this data is from Open Baltimore. Also, featured on the map is the location of schools, parks, rec centers, pools, a ice rink, and a community center in the Project Play: Baltimore study area.

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Project Play: Baltimore is a multiyear initiative designed to help city stakeholders grow the quantity and quality of sport options available to local youth. It is the first model community initiative organized by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program. Supported by Under Armour, it is a bold experiment designed to serve and inspire Baltimore’s communities.