LANSING, Mich. — The region's first universally accessible playground will go up in Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing now that the Community Foundation has reached its $2.2 million fundraising goal to start construction.
"We raised $1.1 million, and then the Community Foundation matched it dollar-for-dollar," Executive Vice President of the Community Foundation Laurie Baumer said.
The purpose of this 10,000-square-foot playground is to promote inclusivity for children of all abilities.
"The only one of its kinds within an hour's drive," Baumer said. "We do not have a universally-accessible playground in this entire region. It's something that's very different for this community. Most of the time, you will see our parks include some accessible pieces of equipment. In this case, the entire park is going to be accessible to children and families with disabilities of all kinds."
The 66,000-square-foot park, called Play Lansing!, will also have a picnic deck, pavilion, barrier-free parking and universal access to the Grand River for viewing, picnicking and fishing.
"So, this will definitely be a destination for families to make a day of it," Baumer said.
But, will the $2.2 million they've raised be enough? Baumer said they're bracing themselves for costs to increase due to shortages of labor and materials.
"We do still need additional funding, because we anticipate those costs are going to rise, as we're seeing with construction projects these days, "Baumer said. "We have not been told yet exactly how much more is likely to increase in terms of our budget."
Baumer said they have enough to start the project, but they are still looking for additional donations.
"Anyone can donate," Baumer said. "Individuals, families, businesses, civic groups."
The Community Foundation is still matching donations dollar-for-dollar and is hoping for the project to be wrapped up by early fall of this year.
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