Greentree Elementary School, and some of the students parents, have been raising funds to build an accessible addition to the existing playground.
"Basically, so kids of all abilities are able to play together on the playground. It's a really important feature in this town that doesn't have an accessible playground right now. It's a good addition to the town and the inclusive aspect of it where the more challenging aspects of the playground are intermingled with the accessible features so all kids can play together," stated spokesman Nikki Isley.
Isley knows first hand how tough these playgrounds can be for the children needing an extra bit of assistance with her own son, Ethan, who has Spina Bifida.
"I think this has been something on the back of my mind now for a while with watching my son play at playgrounds. I didn't even know where to start to be honest and when I found out that Greentree was planning an expansion, I right away got involved and wanted to help. Thankfully they were very willing to take my help and willing to let me redesign to add accessibility to the design," outlined Isley.
"With walking, it's a little bit tricky. You need a really solid surface with a flat ground and all the playgrounds in town have gravel, so he can't use his walker," Isley added. "There are no accessible structures, stairs or ramps that can get up to the equipment. That's an important feature for these kids that have mobility challenges."
The build is planned to start May 31, 2017 to be finished by September 2017.
"We are planning the build for summer of 2017 and yes, it will definitely have some accessible features. It will have ADA accessible stairs and lots of play on the ground area so that kids in wheelchairs and walkers can roll up to the toys on the ground level," explained Isley.
Isley reported to 99.5 Drum FM that their ultimate funding goal is set at $300,000 and this includes the playground equipment cost, delivery, commercial installation and the Pour in Place rubber surfacing.
"They've been fundraising for quite a while now and they've raised quite a chunk of money," Isley mentioned. "We do still need to keep fundraising and we will be continuing to do so. The Parent Council has done an amazing job with that and we are also applying for some government grants which will really help with getting this built."
Donations can be sent to Greentree Elementary School to Kim Groves. If anyone has more information contact Kim Groves at 403-820-2712 or Nikki Isley at 403-820-1330.
All individuals who donate will be entered into a draw to win a one night stay at the Hampton Medicine Hat and four tickets to a Medicine Hat Tigers hockey game, all courtesy of Canalta.