Press release from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation:
Federal Grant Awarded to Boundless Playground Project
Fort Wayne, IN: A $200,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Land & Water Conservation Fund recently was conferred to Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation for Indiana’s first Boundless Playground project. This award brings the fundraising campaign one step closer to its $1.3 million total.
“We’d like to thank the Indiana Department of Natural Resources who administer the funds, and our local legislators, especially Senator Tom Wyss, for helping us with the process,” said Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “We’re right on schedule for groundbreaking in the fall.”
The Parks & Recreation Department has sent out a request for proposals on Phase 1, which is site construction, including all underground utilities, site grading, asphalt parking, concrete walks, restroom building, shade structures, picnic tables, benches and all landscaping. The Department anticipates choosing a contractor, with Park Board and City Council approval, in September.
While the Land & Water funding is critical to the fundraising campaign, public support is vital for the last $200,000. Donations of $500 or more will be listed on plaques at the front of the playground, while everyone’s donation will be noted on the website.
Fort Wayne’s Boundless Playground at Kreager Park will have three pods of playground equipment and activity areas, a splash pad, accessible ramps and walkways, a picnic pavilion and accessible parking. Landscaping will add to the sensory experience of the facility, as will the multiple types of surface used in the various pods.
The Fort Wayne Boundless Playground initiative began two years ago with the vision and dream of Taylor Reuille, who was 11 years old at the time. She realized that there were children with disabilities who couldn’t play at many playgrounds, researched the topic and found that a Boundless Playground would offer amazing play opportunities for children with and without disabilities, including those with physical, sensory, developmental and cognitive disabilities. Calling on the Mayor for his support, Taylor launched a public fundraising campaign called Taylor’s Friendship Circle. In August of 2008, Taylor and her mother, Kasandra Booher, presented the first Boundless Playground private contribution to the Mayor totaling $10,758.43. These proceeds came from small fundraisers, including funds contributed by Taylor’s teachers and fellow classmates at Harlan Elementary. City Council members and representatives from Turnstone and The League for the Blind & Disabled also added their support to the project.
For details about the Boundless Playground and ways to donate online to the campaign, visitor call 260-427-6000. Checks made payable to the Fort Wayne Park Foundation may be sent to 705 E. State Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.