Mandan Park Board Raises Funds For Universal Playgrounds - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Mandan Park Board Raises Funds For Universal Playgrounds

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Expect parks to be packed with children playing this summer, but some of them are generally left out because of disabilities that make it difficult, if not impossible, to use the playground.
Mandan Parks & Recreation has agreed to give $100,000 to help fund the $500,000 project.

Aiden Glass is a vibrant little four year old who loves being outside.

Playgrounds like these are fun, but the mulch and the equipment itself makes it sometimes difficult for those with physical and intellectual disabilities to play here.

"He cannot play on any of these items on this playground. There are very few. It's disheartening," says Aiden's mom Janel Glass.

Aiden's wheelchair can't move through the mulch, so he can't reach the equipment to play.

Families, like the Glass', end up traveling to either Minot or Grand Forks for a the universal designed playgrounds.

"Anyone in Bismarck or other communities in the south half of the state have a longs ways to go. We would like to bring one to the Mandan-Bismarck community for the kids," says committee member Andrea Fonkert.

The BisMan Chamber Leadership Program heard about these families and decided to create a committee to fundraise for a universal playground.

"All parks in the Bismarck-Mandan area are ADA accessible. We just have ADA components, so that children with disabilities can go to certain areas of the playground. This type of universal playground gives the opportunity to interact at all aspects of the playground," says Cole Higlin the director of Mandan Parks and Recreation.

Mandan Parks and Recreation says the playground will be in Eagle Park in Mandan.

"This is going to be a great boom for our community. We don't have anything like this south of Minot or west of Fargo," says committee member Amber Haman.

The committee says Eagle Park's proximity to businesses and the interstate makes it a prime location. The project is set to begin next spring.
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