03/17/2010 8:30 AM -
Following article originally released by the Unified Government Public Relations Department on March 11, 2010
This is why the Wyandotte County Parks Foundation is teaming up with the T-Bones to build more Accessible Playgrounds in parks throughout Wyandotte County. Children with disabilities, like other children, play to grow and playing together regardless of abilities is important to all children.
“For children with disabilities, an equally important consideration is that accessible equipment be integrated with non-accessible equipment,” Director of Parks and Recreation Department, Gary Salva said. “Not every piece of play equipment needs to be accessible, but when non-accessible swings are located alongside accessible ones, it promotes social interaction between children with and without disabilities.”
The Foundation’s goal for 2010 is to replace eight existing facilities with modern playgrounds that will meet the accessibility standards established by the American Disabilities Act. The anticipated replacement cost for these eight identified Playgrounds is $400,000. The Foundation currently has over $200,000 in pledges for the 2010 goal. The T-Bones have contributed $200,000 to the Playground Project.
“Because Kansas City sports fans have so heartily embraced the T-Bones’ brand of affordable, family entertainment, we are thrilled to reinvest in Wyandotte County’s recreational infrastructure and its future,” T-Bones Co-owner Adam Ehlert said.
The T-Bones have been a major contributor and supporter of the Foundation’s goals to improve the park system for residents in Wyandotte County. Since 2003, the baseball club has collected 50 cents from every ticket sold to support numerous recreation facilities in the county. This amounts to over one half of a million dollars in contributions said Salva. The T-Bones contribution will pay for four out of the eight playgrounds scheduled to be built this year.
The proposed park sites that have already been identified as high priority are:
“The Accessible Playground Project will provide an underserved portion of our population an opportunity to enjoy that special view of the world from a playground they can access and utilize to the fullest extent,” said Wyandotte County Parks Foundation President David Hurrelbrink.
Efforts to upgrade the playgrounds to be ADA compliant began in 2008 with the renovation of the Clopper Park Playground at a cost of approximately $10,000. In 2009 the first total playground replacement occurred at Kensington Park at an approximate cost of $40,000. The Parks and Recreation Department maintains 54 parks throughout Wyandotte County and within these parks are 74 playgrounds. Parks and Recreation has developed a multi-year plan in order to meet the ADA guidelines.