Inclusive playground project for children coming to Franklin

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- A new way to play is coming to the city of Franklin.  

The Mayor's Office announced plans with the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council for an inclusive playground project in front of Blue Heron Park.on Tuesday. The goal of the new playground will be for all kids to play and participate in the community no matter their abilities.

They also hope to create a space for public, non-profit, and private organizations can come together to embrace inclusive play for kids of all ages and abilities. The plans include a space that challenges the "whole child" by intentionally addressing developmental needs  through physical, cognitive, social-emotional and sensory play. 

The Mayor's Youth Leadership Council has been meeting since August to brainstorm ideas and designs for the inclusive playground, submitting design ideas for equipment, colors, and play spaces for children.  

Seven concepts have been created for the new playground:

  • Be fair by creating routes to equipment for kids of all physical abilities
  • Be inclusive by creating activity space for all children no matter their backgrounds
  • Be smart by providing opportunities for growth in learning
  • Be independent by creating ramps to allow kids to race and play side by side
  • Be safe by providing park benches and places for rest
  • Be active by providing space for kids to gain skills and confidence while being healthy
  • Be comfortable by allowing for places of shade and leisure.

City officials estimate the total expenses for this playground project will be just over $300,000. Revenue to cover the project will stem from the general fund, a playtime grant, park funding, and community fundraising.

The city is allowing for tax-deductible donations for the inclusive playground project as part of the fundraising campaign. 

Community volunteers will work together to build the playground in April 2018, with an opening ceremony scheduled for May of 2018.

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