Extraordinary Acres All-Inclusive Playground

A special playground designed to provide opportunities for children of all abilities.

All children learn, grow, and develop through play; improving their physical, cognitive, and social skills. These skills are important.This playground will include musical sensory play. That makes it appealing as a multi-generational experience for social interaction. The American with Disabilities Act requires that children's playgrounds meet minimal physical accessibility guidelines. Meeting these standards allows some children with mobility disabilities to access some of the equipment. Removing physical barriers does not, however, remove social barriers. Extraordinary Acres will be built so that it is all one level, ground level. That means there is no reason for transfer points to other levels of play. This increases the independence for all who use it. It also makes it a much safer place to play. This will meet the need for a safe place to play for all children and their families in our community regardless of ability, income, background etc.

The cost factors for this playground are beyond what our municipality can put forth. People and businesses are coming forward. Girl Scout Troop 10871 of NYPENN Pathways have raised $10,500 of the $81,000 cost. Currently, there is no play space at this heavily used park. The hope is, with this grant, we could reach our goal on some of the biggest dream ticket items, an inclusive whirl and an ADA restroom. The whirl experience explains the perception of our body in relation to gravity, movement and balance. Just 15 minutes of activity on the whirl can have a 6-8-hour impact on the brain. It is called vestibular activity and is important for children's development. This input can also help a child feel regulated in order to keep them focused and attentive. The potential benefits of this piece are incredible. Put this with the musical equipment the scouts will install and we will have an all inclusive, safe, low maintenance play space unlike any other in our county.

This playground will help to strengthen our community. One of the struggles families with disabilities face is fewer places to meet and be part of the community. The playgrounds near them, usually hot spots of mingling and friend-making, may not be welcoming or even usable by their children. This project started out as the dream of some local Girl Scouts. Their original plan was crude. They began with educating the public and making them more aware of the need. They then started looking at the many options available. Next was designing the playground that would meet the need in our community. By doing this they started to see people from all backgrounds and walks of life starting to come together as a community. This is something that firsthand, not only these girls but our community, will carry with them. Hard work and a dream can really happen and make people's lives better. This space will also promote healthier lifestyles. Families can get out and walk and play together here.

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