Phase 3 is underway! After winning the Michigan Municipal League's Community Excellence Award in the fall, McKinley Barrier-Free Park is becomming more popular each day. Our park has been featured in the local Metromode online magazine, and we have been contacted for advice by several cities in our great state who want to create their own barrier-free parks. We even have interest from our state senator and state representative. McKinley Barrier-Free Park has become a model for our state and we're not done yet!
We are moving forward to fundraise for the final pieces of our barrier-free park: The Sensory Garden, The Exercise Stations, and The Climbers. We hope to get these pieces in soon!
McKinley Barrier-Free Park has had visitors from all over the world lately. We've had visitors from New York, Switzerland, and Australia! All have loved the park so much!
Nov 30, 2018
Swinging into sensory education!
By Cheryl LaCasse - Project Leader
It's been a busy few months for the McKinley Barrier-Free Park in Fraser, MI!
Fraser & McKinley Barrier-Free Park was honored with the Michigan Municipal League's 2018 Community Excellence Award in September. The award recognizes innovative solutions in Michigan communities. Fraser was one of four finalists competing for the award. Volunteers travelled to Grand Rapids, MI to present McKinley Barrier-Free Park's history and future to the Michigan Municipal League Convention. It is a huge honor to win this award!
The swings are installed! The Fraser First Booster Club received a grant from The Ralph Wilson Jr. Foundation through the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. Thanks to this grant, and everyone who has donated to this phase of the park, the swings have been installed and were broken in at Fraser First Booster Club's annual Walk & Roll Event. This year's theme was "Ghoulishly Fun!" The swing set includes two swings with high backs and harnesses, four belt swings, and one expression swing that promotes early eye contact for toddlers! The swing area also includes all-accessible surfacing. They are a beautiful addition to the park and families have enjoyed them every day.
The swings are the start of Phase 3, the final phase of McKinley Barrier-Free Park. Phase 3 includes Swings, a Sensory Garden with Labyrinth and Music Panels, the Adult Exercise Pad, and Two Climbers! We are still fundraising to finish Phase 3, but the swings are a fun start to it!
The Fraser First Booster Club would like to thank everyone who has been involved with helping build this park. It's not finished yet, but with continued support, we can get it done!
We all might take for granted an activity we did as kids was ALSO a sensory education: Swinging!! Swinging helps our body's balance and biorythms. The sensory education of swinging is harder for a child that uses a wheelchair, so the Swing Set at McKinley Barrier-Free Park will have special swings that will allow a child to be transferred safely into a supportive swing for the excitement of swinging, and the sensory they will take for granted too!
Although the swings will be ready once installed this month; the Fraser First Booster Club's annual Walk & Roll will welcome the newly installed swings this October for their official debut.
Fraser First Booster Club's first ever GlobalGiving campaign was a huge help in getting the needed funds to be able to install these marvelous swings. We are so grateful to all of our donors for this exciting addition to McKinley Barrier-Free Park and Playground! Every step in this community project has been a grassroots effort with countless volunteer hours. We are closer to our goal of Curing Ignorance Through Play with each donation and installation of inclusive play. We continue plans for McKinley Barrier-Free Park like our Sensory Garden and our Outdoor Exercise Pad. Fraser First Blooster Club believes that better parks build better communities, and McKinley Barrier-Free Park is doing that with each visit.