AUBURN — Children of all ages and abilities will be able to play on the brand new, all-inclusive, handicap-accessible playground at Casey Park by the first weekend in May.
During a presentation to the Auburn City Council on Thursday, senior planners Renee Jensen and Tiffany Beebee and Play by Design playground designer Laura Sehn revealed the design and construction timeline for the project.
The playground will include equipment that can be used by children from 2 to 12 years old. It is split into two sections, one for children ages 2 to 5 and the other for 5- to 12-year-olds. There will also be a zip line.
Equipment for younger children features a playhouse, tunnel, rock wall, suspension bridge and mushroom hops, while the section for older kids includes a tree house with a climbing wall and racing ropes, a castle with two slides, a catwalk and fire pole and a look-out tower with a six-foot twisty slide and ladder. There is also an obstacle course section of the playground that will have equipment that can be used by able-bodied children at the same time as handicapped children, such as high/low monkey bars and rings.
"We like to include parallel play, like the high/low monkey bars, so that not only can (wheelchair-bound children) use it, they can use it with their friends," Sehn said.
Additionally, children in wheelchairs will be able to use the Liberty wheelchair swing and inclusive orbit, a spinning structure that is able to support a wheelchair with room for sitting and standing children. The playground design includes six-foot wide ramps, ground level components and elevated components that are wheelchair accessible.
Community volunteers will be needed to build the playground. The community build will take place from Tuesday, May 1 though Sunday, May 6. The ribbon cutting will take place in the afternoon on May 6, Jensen said.
"We are requesting the help of all community members, skilled and unskilled, to help with the construction of the playground," Jensen said.
Each construction day will be broken into three shifts: 8 a.m. to noon, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 5 to 7:30 p.m. Eighty volunteers will be needed per shift. Businesses and individuals are needed to donate tools and food.
"It really creates a sense of community pride when you have all these people getting together to make something that's so good for the community, so good for their kids," Sehn said of the community build process. "They really feel proud of themselves, proud of the community and they really take pride in the playground itself, which really helps down the road as far as vandalism and people really taking care of it after it's built."
The $215,000 project will be funded through the city's federal Community Development Block Grant allocations. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can contact Jensen at 315-255-4115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.