Fraser Rec receives $40,000 for accessible playground |

Fraser Rec receives $40,000 for accessible playground

Cyndi McCoy
Sky-Hi Daily News
Fraser, Colorado

Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District recently learned it received leverage funds to add in a new, fully accessible playground at its new community recreation center.

Grand County Commissioners James Newberry (District I, Winter Park), Nancy Stuart (District II, Granby) and Gary Bumgarner (District III, Kremmling) have announced they’ll provide $40,000 in Conservation Trust Fund money for the outdoor playground. The amount was awarded to the recreation district for a “Boundless Playground” planned for the west side of the recreation center in Fraser. District I donated $25,000 of the total, with the other portions being made up of $10,000 from District II and $5,000 from District III.

FVMRD Director Scott Ledin asked the Grand County Board of County Commissioners for a $40,000 donation because he thought the project would be something the commissioners would be interested in. In a letter to FVMRD, the commissioners confirmed the request was exactly what the Conservation Trust Funds are for and that they were happy to support the effort.

Conservation Trust Funds are Colorado Lottery funds designated specifically for parks and recreation at the local level, Newberry explained. The money can be used for capital projects, trails, and some conservation easements.

“This is when it all comes together,” he said. “It’s not a big pot of money,” but he and the commissioners “always like to help out” where they can. Grant requests are usually capped at $4,000, but “if warranted we’ll go above that,” he said.

The goal for the recreation center, Ledin said, is “to be as flexible and usable for our disabled population as possible.” The facility will be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. During the planning stages, the recreation district “often went a step further,” he added, to make sure everyone would be able to enjoy the amenities. Examples include the fitness equipment and electronic doors. He said, with the rec center’s proximity to the National Center for the Disabled, the district has made a point to be able to work with NSCD athletes.

Boundless Playgrounds, Inc. partners with communities to build playgrounds to accommodate children of all abilities. Simple features include ramps and transfer stations that allow disabled children to use the equipment, as well as interact with other children.

Other features may include decks that all children can reach, play structures that support different levels of child development, accessible pathways and surfaces, equipment with back support, and elevated activity panels. Interaction between able-bodied and disabled children also can increase respect and acceptance of their differences.

The rec district is gathering special bids and developing specs for the project, estimated to cost $70,000. For the additional $30,000 needed, the FVMRD will apply for additional grants and look into other possible fundraising efforts. A donation page has been established at Hopes are to have the new playground in place by fall 2009.

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