The All Ability Playground: Part 1
Recently, there has been a lot of talk and excitement around the All Ability Playground vision here at the board of DD. In 2017, we started talking seriously about the need to repair our school playgrounds. The pictures below show some of the damage, but the equipment is also very outdated and not quite meeting the needs of all children today. We knew that simply replacing parts of the playground was not the best option or use of dollars. We also had a vision to make this playground a community-wide inclusive place for children and families of all abilities.
Throughout 2018, a committee of community and staff members has been working with architects and vendors to design an All Ability Playground at Marimor School. It will connect to the Ottawa Metro Park right next door. We do not have final costs yet, but we know this will be a very expensive project, given the unique needs of special needs children and adults for play and recreation equipment. Some of the details we’re working on include a wheelchair-friendly swing, a sensory and quiet area for individuals with autism, and various equipment for both children and adults.
We have been joined by the Lions Club, who seek to partner with us on a fundraising campaign for the playground. To date, several fundraisers have been coordinated by community members to begin the process of raising the money we will need for this venture. We are very grateful to the Weaver family for their generous gifts and memorials in Owen’s name toward this cause. Additionally, the Fallen Heroes organization held a Poker Run in July 2018, which raised funds for the playground in Owen’s honor. Then, in August 2018, we were very honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the Husky Golf Outing funds. For this, we received a check for $10,000 toward the playground fund. We cannot thank Husky enough for their generous contribution. We also have dedicated funds for the playground from our 2018 Chicken BBQ. And on October 26, the UAW Local 1219 from the Lima Ford Engine Plant blessed us with $5,000.00 toward the playground fund. We had no idea that the Local 1219 had taken on this challenge to support our cause, even more than they do our annual Chicken BBQ.
As we close out 2018, we hope to finalize the drawings and costs of the playground. We will begin some of the basic land preparation work in 2019, as we know it will take considerable time to plan for parking and driveway changes to get playground construction underway. Our hope is that this new vision can become a reality in 2020.
We very much appreciate all of the donors who have raised funds on our behalf for this new playground. We know this is a BIG vision. We know the cost of such a project will be very high; however, we also know that with the continued support of our community, this vision will become a reality. Thank you to everyone who has already donated in some way – especially those who bought chicken dinners, donated extra funds at the BBQ for our playground, or volunteered at the BBQ to help us raise funds. We could not do it without all of YOU!
If you would like to make a donation to the All Ability Playground, you can give any amount you wish to the Marimor Legacy Foundation, which is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(C)3 of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN: 83-0870289. Your contribution will be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You can mail checks ℅ ACBDD to 2500 Ada Rd., Lima, OH, 45801.
Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved in this community-wide project!
Theresa Schnipke, Superintendent