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Play Has NO Limits

Impact Area: Health and Wellness, Social Equity
Region: Northeast

Traditional ADA compliant playground pose barriers that prevent children and families from playing.. together, we CAN change that!

$37,545 Raised out of $40,000
24 Donors
0 Days Remaining

About this project.

Every child matters , regardless of where they live or what they can and cannot do.  Our universally designed playground for St. Cloud Commons was inspired by a young boy who suffered from a traumatic brain injury as a baby.   His mother lives each day to ensure that this child leads a "normal" life filled with opportunities to relish the sacred moments of childhood.   The chance to play was taken from him at the hands of someone who shook him so hard that it changed his life forever.   As the case of many other children throughout our community, access and availability to play are limited.  With YOUR help, we plan to change that.

Out of 1000 children, 65  are diagnosed with some type of disability on a national basis.  In Huntington, WV 1 out of 5 children are diagnosed with a disability which greatly exceeds the national standard.   Our playground will serve these children and their families along with EVERY other child.   The word "inclusive" means ALL TO BELONG.   The spongy surfacing, ramping, sensory rich environment, adaptive equipment and extra shade will ensure that physical barriers are removed and our universal design serves the "whole child".     Children playing side by side will remove social barriers to ensure that our playground is serving the "whole community".   We want children to learn at a young age to celebrate differences so they will develop into more understanding and compassionate adults.   

Your investment in this playground will have a ripple effect to better our entire community and spark the much needed economic development that a project of this magnitude can have on an area.   Echoing the famous words of the hit film "Fields of Dreams" - "BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME." 

Huntington, WV may be a small town in an area that has been forgotten. The largest employer was the coal mine that has been closed.   Lots of people are moving away to find better jobs with higher pay.  We face challenges in terms of attracting larger businesses to move to our area that can spark an economic upturn.   The people of West Virginia are used to turbulent times as we have recently recovered from record flooding last year that devastated so many areas.    But if we know anything, it's how to devise a plan and scale the hurdles that lie before us.   Recently, our town was named one of "America's Best Communities" not because we have few problems to address but because we continue to move forward to make life better for everyone regardless of the challenges.  We do not give up when the times get tough.

We are STRONGLY committed to providing our children a play space that is SAFE and INCLUSIVE so that they can yield the developmental benefits of play, bond with their families and friends, continue to lead healthy and active lifestyles and furthermore, so our children from Huntington can enjoy their childhoods and know that they too matter!






How will this impact your community?

Our project will provide three things:

1) Health and therapeutic benefits to ALL children, particularly to those who have limited recreational opportunities such as children with varying abilities and our Veterans who return home with new found injuries.    Encouraging children and families to become more active will help combat the rise in obesity that is the cause of many other health conditions.  Our playground will lead to a healthier generation and less cost towards health care intervention.

2) Social Cohesion that fosters the opportunities for children to learn team-work, turn taking, problem solving and exert self-control that greatly assists with maturation into responsible adults.   More importantly, children can become more compassionate and learn from one another, becoming more familiar with various abilities and conditions.   In turn, they are less likely to bully others and are taught to look for the commonalities that bond us together

3)  Economic Development will occur to this part of turn that previously was thriving with a Country Club.   Our new play space will undoubtedly become a destination place that attracts people from all other the area.  With easy access off a major interstate, we anticipate more business development and higher rate of commerce to help with future redevelopment efforts

About us!

The Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District was originally known as the Board of Park Commissioners. Established in 1925 the park commission was set up and governed by elected park officials, not by any city, county, or state. Multiple parks were established and developed in Cabell and Wayne counties to serve the publics recreational needs. In 1984 an act of the WV Legislature changed the name of the park district to the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District and new funding mechanisms were established. At that time the elected park commissioners expanded from 6 to 11. Today the park district functions under an executive director and contains a cemeteries division, maintenance division, recreation division, and administrative team. With over 14 park sites throughout Cabell & Wayne Counties, we strive to serve the public's recreational needs through a comprehensive park system with friendly customer service and information

Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District Mission

To provide a wide variety of year round recreation programs, open space and natural areas that respond to the needs and desires of the community as we strive to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to our area.


Timeline

We successfully launched our Play Has No Limits campaign on June 15th, 2017 and look forward to the next year rallying our community and mobilizing philanthropic resources. We anticipate a build to happen (contingent on fundraising) fall of 2017 or spring of 2018.

Lauren Carte
Development & Recreation Manager
Kevin Brady
Executive Director

About Lauren Carte

Lauren is a 2014 graduate of Marshall University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resource and Recreation Management. Lauren assists with recreational programs at the GHPRD and writes grant applications to secure additional project funding. Lauren is very passionate about the field of Parks and Recreation and is committed to helping provide children everywhere with the resources they need to get out and play! In her spare time Lauren can be found obsessing over her idol Amy Poehler or tending to her two lovable dachshunds Riley and Layla. Lauren can be reached at lcarte@ghprd.org

About Kevin Brady

Kevin has been serving as Executive Director since November, 2010 and came to Huntington from Juneau Alaska, where he was Superintendent of Parks & Landscape for the City & Borough of Juneau for two years. Prior to that Kevin was the Director of Parks with the City of Chattanooga for three years and Facilities Superintendent with Hamilton County Parks & Recreation in Tennessee for seventeen years. Kevin has an extensive background in Parks & Facility maintenance and management, is a graduate of the N. C. State/NRPA Park & Recreation Maintenance Management School and Director's School. He is an active member of the West Virginia Recreation and Park Association and the National Recreation and Park Association. Kevin and his wife Suzanne fell in love with Huntington when they moved here, and plan to stay in Huntington for many years. Kevin's primary focus has been to maintain our existing facilities in the best possible condition, and maintain a standard of excellence in facility maintenance that we can all be proud of. He is very proud of the staff and management team at GHPRD, and thankful for the support of the eleven member Board of Park Commissioners, as together we improve the quality of life for residents of Cabell and Wayne counties and visitors to our area. Kevin can be reached at kbrady@ghprd.org