Berthoud Adaptive Park Project Approaches Halfway Fundraising Goal
Berthoud, Colo., is getting a wheelchair-accessible playground, thanks to colorado-based nonprofit Can’d Aid. Today, Can’d Aid’s Berthoud Adaptive Park Project is celebrating Colorado Gives Day. The park will be Berthoud’s first public inclusive playground and a destination for children and parents of all abilities.
Colorado-based nonprofit Can’d Aid, whose mission is to rally people from all walks of life to become a catalyst for change in their communities, was inspired to begin raising funds for the first inclusive-play public playground in the mid-northern Colorado area by Berthoud resident Lauren Bowling and her family. Lauren and her husband Richard are the parents of three young children, five-year-old Braxton and four-year-old twins Mack and Miles. During Lauren’s pregnancy, Mack and Miles were diagnosed with twin-to-twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome and, either in labor or delivery, Miles was without oxygen long enough to result in a traumatic brain injury, known as Periventricular Leukomalacia, which ultimately led to the development and diagnosis of spastic triplegia cerebral palsy at age two. Though not affected cognitively or verbally, Miles is unable to stand or walk by himself which makes him dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility, freedom and independence.
“It’s important to have a dedicated space for all children to play with their friends and get healthy exercise. We’re so excited to announce some of the key elements of the park that will encourage inclusive play among kids of all ages and skill levels,” says Lauren Bowling.
ADA-accessible play equipment comes at an exorbitant cost, and that is why the Berthoud Adaptive Park Project needs community support. Here are some of the play structures that will be at the park:
The main play structure, the barn, is an inclusive piece of play equipment that incorporates accessible elements for children who use mobility aids and challenging elements for able-bodied children and creates a truly inclusive opportunity for play between all children. The ramps start at ground level, so anyone with a mobility device whether that is a wheelchair or a walker can access the full structure, including the top play platform. Slides, frog hops, monkey bars and climbers are placed alongside the ramp. These allow able-bodied kids to be challenged in their play while a wheelchair user can interact with them and zoom all the way to the top of the structure.
There is also a sensory play roller table that provides all kids with much-needed stimulation, with the steel rollers providing deep-muscle pressure. This can help children develop tactile receptors throughout the body. The curved overhead handrails allow for arms of any length and ability to move through the structure.
Swings are a classic park element, the inclusive swing area will include a wheelchair swing, a mommy and me swing, and a swing with a 5-point harness, as well as the regular and bucket swings. The swings will all be located together, encouraging inclusive play by allowing children of all abilities to play together.
Can’d Aid plans to coordinate fundraising efforts and work with developers to host community events and provide volunteer work days for the playground in Spring 2023. The goal of the fundraiser is to assist the Bowling family and the project developers in any way necessary to help reach the goal of bringing accessibility and inclusion closer to home for many in the mid-northern Colorado area.
Colorado Gives Day has grown to be Colorado’s largest giving event, raising more than $362 million for nonprofits across the state since it began in 2010.