It started with a Haunted House. Hard to imagine a club taking on this type of fundraiser as a means to open an accessible playground, right? But, that's exactly what we did 4 and a half years ago. Did it work? Absolutely.
In 2017, we opened the first phase; a major component consisting of 4 slides, monkey bars, hand pedals, rings and a wheelchair ramp to the middle of the play area. We also paved and refurbished walkways and bridges leading to the play area and a nearby pavilion making them more easily and safely accessible. However, we're not finished - there's so much more we want to provide through independent play components.
Now, we're beggin' for your ‘bacon’ to complete our final phase of accessibility in Bacon Park. We need $100,000 to complete the entire project. Our goal for April is $5,000. What will 5k do? It could pay for at least one piece of equipment like a swingset with ADA bucket seats and traditional scoop seats or additional seating around the play area.
The individual components of the playground cost anywhere from $1500 to $15,000 apiece. These include swings, spinners, swaying platforms, and more. Each of these components includes an accessible seat or ramp to facilitate transference, stability, and safety.
The surface material surrounding the equipment is made from recycled tires and poured in place after installation. This provides added safety by cushioning falls and securing mobility tread. Wheelchairs, walkers or crutches won't get hung up like they would in pea gravel or wood chips. The rubber surface covers concrete and is more than double the cost of pea gravel or wood chips.
Kiwanis Bacon Memorial Park is owned and cared for by the organization and our incredible volunteers throughout the community. Local businesses continue to show their support through cleanup days, picnics in the park and sponsorships. In the last 4 and a half years, volunteers have put in over 50,000 recorded hours of community service in the park and through fundraisers for this equipment.
How does any of this affect you? Our belief is that children who can play together regardless of their ability, can grow up to work together, building a brighter future for everyone.
Hopefully, all you ever need to wonder about is when you and your family will enjoy a day of play outside. But if you find yourself or a member of your family in need of a safe and secure accessible playground, Kiwanis Bacon Memorial Park will be there for you. The only other park like it is at least 95 miles away.
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