The St. Charles Park District received a $10,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of St. Charles to help bring accessible playground equipment to the community. The check was presented April 23 during the Board of Commissioners meeting.
The donation, part of the Kiwanis Signature Project, will provide a wheelchair-accessible swing for the therapeutic, special needs playground planned for Pottawatomie Park in 2020. Additionally, River Bend Community Park will receive an accessible special needs swing this summer, and other parks – yet to be determined – will receive equipment in the future.
“Kiwanis strives to make a difference in the lives of children – it’s our mission and who we are as an organization,” said Jonathan Gripe, President of the Kiwanis Club of St. Charles. “Therefore, we couldn’t be more excited to impact and improve the park experience for all children through accessible equipment.”
The Signature Project is a specific fund with monies raised via Kiwanis Club members as well as donations from the community.
“We are delighted that Kiwanis selected the Park District for their Signature Project,” said Laura Rudow, Superintendent of Parks and Planning, Deputy Director.
She explained all of the district’s playgrounds are designed with accessibility in mind such as ramps and ground level panels for play, but the wheelchair swing will be the first of its kind in the park district.
And while many of the parks have special needs swings, it can be difficult for caregivers to hoist individuals, especially older children and adults, into the swing. The new wheelchair swing at Pottawatomie, however, will solve that problem. It consists of a platform for individuals to remain in their wheelchair while swinging.
In February, the Park District received a grant from the Illinois’ Open Space Land Acquisition and Development to make improvements to Pottawatomie Park, including an inclusive therapeutic playground, which will replace the current small playground and include special needs amenities as well as a sensory garden.
“This donation is a huge win for the community. Everyone will be able to enjoy these new amenities regardless of age or ability,” Rudow said.
For more information, contact Laura Rudow at 630-513-4344. To learn more about Kiwanis Club of St. Charles or make a donation, visit www.kiwanisofstcharles.org