Town Square

Support the Magical Bridge playground at Mitchell Park

Original post made by Jill Asher, Crescent Park, on Nov 9, 2012

Palo Alto Community,

Right in time for the holiday season, is a cause which needs your help to become a reality.

The Magical Bridge Playground is in the midst of its capital campaign to raise $2 million before the end of this year. With tax breaks for non-profits likely to change in the new year, there is no better time to pledge your support. To be located in Mitchell Park Playground, the Magical Bridge will serve those with various disabilities who, remarkably, have no playground to enjoy today. Did you realize none of Palo Alto's public parks are fully ADA-compliant? We can do better and only with your help, will the Magical Bridge be a reality.

Children with visual, hearing and cognitive issues, those living with autism and so many others will finally know what it is like to have a park to play in and we must provide for them, too.

This innovative playground will be the 1st of its kind in the nation. Please consider holding your own fundraisers through your church, synogogue, school or communities and make real magic this season!

You can also follow the Magical Bridge on:

Twitter: Web Link
Facebook: Web Link

More information on their website: Web Link

Of the 15 innovative "playzones" slated to be built, we are incredibly grateful and pleased to announce the fist zone has JUST been sponsored. Former Palo Alto Mayer Leland Levy and his wife, Judy Huey have generously sponsored the "picnic and performance zone." and will enjoy having their names engraved in this zone as a lasting legacy to the community.

To make a donation to the Magical Bridge Playground, please visit Web Link

If you have any questions about the park or how to get involved, email Olenka Villareal at

Jill Asher


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Posted by Simon Firth
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Thanks, Jill for helping bring our community's attention to this wonderful project. I'm planning to make the Magical Bridge a part of my end-of-year giving and hope that many fellow Palo Alto residents will feel similarly inspired.

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Posted by Cynthia R
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Yes!! A project we must support. I will follow Simon's lead and will add the playground to my local community causes.

A big thanks to Mr. Levy for leading the way with his leadership. How about current City Council members? Who has donated from that group?

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Posted by Kris Loew
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Thank you to Olenka for leading the charge on this vital playground that gives everyone in our community a place to play! And thank you to the Levys for their generous gift! I, too, am contributing both time and money to this much needed project! Please give will be a public park but is privately funded so every dollar counts! Thank you for all of your contributions!!

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Posted by Linda Selden
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

This community is indeed fortunate to have citizens like Olenka Villareal who has the vision and drive to create a magical all-inclusive park, and Le Levy and Judy Huey who contributed so generously to make the magic a reality. Now, the rest of us need to step up to the plate and do our part! Magical Bridge Playground you can count me in.

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Posted by Supporter
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

What a great project for the entire Bay Area community!

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Posted by Supporter
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

I am excited to hear people are coming together to build such a great park.

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Posted by Steven Hill
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I am shocked that a wealthy community like ours is relying on a group of volunteers to build an ADA park! They need our help!!

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Posted by JA
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I want to express my gratitude to Leland Levy and his wife, Judy for stepping up and sponsoring the first zone. There are 14 additional zones that need to be pledged - or else this playground will not be built.

I have been explaining to my daughters that what is unique about this park is that it meets the needs of ALL children. Typical developing children will enjoy this park, along with those with disabilities, autism, sensory integration challenges, visually impaired.... this is a playground for everyone!

Even the adults.

Imagine walking out of Mitchell Park Library with a book - sit on the "magical" benches, eat lunch... and read.

Envision birthday parties, picnic dinners and family gatherings - while being entertained on the "magical" stage by the little ones!

If you have a child who feels isolated because they don't have a park that meets THEIR needs.... you now have a place where they can play, interact, and simply be a child.

It is amazing that there are NO parks in Silicon Valley or the bay area that meet the needs of our children in wheelchairs, our children who have autism/sensory issues and might need a little hut to "hide" in and peek out, our children who want to entertain on stage with costumes and props, our children who may be "typically developing" - but have never played or engaged with children who have "different" abilities.

Just think about the friendships that can be made between ALL our children!

Imagine the MAGICAL bonds that can be created in our community!

Please help build the Magical Bridge Playground.

There are 14 more zones which need to be sponsored. More information can be found at Web Link - our community is full of such giving and fortunate donors - please consider this cause!

A Friend of the Magical Bridge Playground

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Posted by roger smith
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

le levy and judy were the major funders for the wonderfull lytton plaza and now the lead gift for the magical bridge----thank you both for being such great citizens of palo alto.

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Posted by Peter Chen
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

How can we put up all these ugly building so fast and not have money for such an important park? If they raise enough to build the Magic Bridge Park, it will put us on the map not only for technology but for SOCIAL INNOVATION. GOOD LUCK!