Clayton Century Foundation Improves Community Park with Support from the Opus Foundation®


​Our commitment to building community goes well beyond the structures we create. We’re also engaged within our communities, supporting important initiatives. Recently, the Opus Foundation® awarded a $50,000 Impact Fund grant to the Clayton Century Foundation. A strong fit within the foundation’s community revitalization focus area, the grant will help rebuild the Family Center Nature Playground in Clayton, Mo.

Functioning as a nonprofit partner to the City of Clayton, the Clayton Century Foundation’s mission is to catalyze the community’s passion for excellence through private investment in art, history, parks and sustainability. Nationally, innovative cities like Clayton are finding that partnering with community-based private nonprofits is an effective strategy for funding desired cultural, heritage, wellness and recreational capital improvements. The Family Center Nature Playground marks the Clayton Century Foundation’s first project in cooperation with the public school system.

The Family Center serves an important role in the community as the only public preschool program in Clayton. Nationally recognized for its parenting and early childhood education programs, the Family Center offers a wide range of learning opportunities, including parenting consultations, short-term counseling and early childhood special education.

Adjacent to the Family Center is the Family Center Nature Playground. Encompassing nearly two acres of land in an area considered underserved by parks and community, the Family Center Nature Playground is a cherished green space in this mostly urban area. However, the heavily utilized playground area is more than 20 years old with deteriorating equipment and safety surfaces.

This Impact Fund grant will help build a new multi-level playground designed to encourage play and inspire creativity in the children of Clayton. It will feature an outdoor classroom, covered pavilion, swings, climbing structures, large sandboxes, accessible ramps and playground surfacing. In addition, the space will offer numerous additional outdoor activities including open green spaces, rock climbing and a vegetable garden. Children will learn about natural resources by collecting water in rain barrels for the garden and experimenting with water flow in a waterway play structure. 

“Opus is truly investing in communities,” said J.J. Flotken, president of the Clayton Century Foundation. “Because of their generous support, we are able to transform this playground space and make it safer and more engaging, enriching the lives of Clayton youth for many years to come.”

In addition to being used during school hours, the playground will be open to children and families in surrounding neighborhoods after school and on weekends, extending its positive impact on the community.

Supporting community projects like the Family Center Nature Playground is testament to the Foundation’s legacy and passion for enriching lives. I’m proud to serve on the Clayton Century Foundation board and to have been able to connect the organization to this wonderful opportunity from the Opus Foundation.

Above: Pictured above is Taylors Park in Clayton, Mo. The Opus Foundation® previously supported Clayton Century Foundation’s enhancements of that park.

The Opus Foundation is building community for a better tomorrow by supporting projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families through grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of early childhood education, youth development, workforce development, community revitalization and pressing/emerging needs. Read more about the Foundation’s work.