Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation to Upgrade Playgrounds for All

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation has received a generous grant from the AWS Foundation to improve the accessibility of some neighborhood parks. The grant will fund the installation of accessible safety surfacing on playgrounds, as well as other park improvements, over the next three years.

Why Accessibility Matters

Accessibility is not only a human right, but also a benefit for everyone. People with disabilities, older adults, and families with young children can enjoy public parks more fully and safely if they have access to playgrounds that meet their needs. According to the AWS Foundation, about 20% of Americans have some form of disability, and many of them face barriers to accessing recreational facilities.

By making playgrounds more accessible, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation aims to provide free recreation for the whole community. As Patti Hays, CEO of AWS Foundation, said: “Families of children with disabilities should be able to go to their own neighborhood park and find accessible playgrounds.”

Which Parks Will Receive Upgrades

The first park that will receive upgrades as part of this grant is Boone Park, where the department will utilize a portion of the funds for accessible safety surfacing on its playground. Construction dates are still to be announced.

Fort Wayne Parks

Other parks that will benefit from this grant include Central Park, Eastwood Park, Lincoln Park, Northwood Park, Southwood Park, and Westwood Park. These parks will undergo various improvements such as landscaping, lighting, signage, restrooms, pavilions, trails, and sports fields.

The grant is part of a larger initiative by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation to update several park areas in conjunction with a $1.3 million fundraising campaign for Indiana’s first Boundless Playground project. Boundless Playgrounds are designed to be inclusive and adaptable for people with different abilities and preferences.

How You Can Support

If you want to support this initiative and help make Fort Wayne’s parks more accessible for everyone, you can donate online at Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation or AWS Foundation. You can also volunteer your time or skills at one of the many events organized by these organizations throughout the year.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel said: “We are so grateful to have the chance to partner with AWS Foundation to find ways to increase accessibility in our parks and to ensure more children have the chance to fully enjoy our playgrounds.”

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