Goshen’s Hay Park on Plymouth Avenue will soon be home to the city’s first fully inclusive playground with the help of a $50,000 matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
If the Parks & Recreation Department can raise $50,000 by December 11 on crowd-funding platform Patronicity, the IHCDA will match the amount through its CreatINg Places program. To learn more about the project and to donate, go to patronicity.com/goshenplayground.
“This project is near and dear to our hearts,” Parks & Recreation Department Superintendent Tanya Heyde said. “It has been our mission to create safe, accessible spaces for everyone in this community. This project will ensure we have a place where children of all abilities and their families can come together and learn from each other.”
For residents of all ages with mobility or developmental challenges and other disabilities, the playground will feature ramps, wider sidewalks and special equipment that will give them access to any part of the playground, including the highest points.
While all Goshen playgrounds meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, the new inclusive playground will add elements that encourage engagement among everyone on the space.
Planning began with a committee made up of residents and City staff, who identified and listed the needs and resources to build it. Designs have been created and Hay Park, 1414 W. Plymouth Ave., was identified as the best location for the new playground.
“When I took office in 2016 I immediately knew I wanted the City to design and build a fully inclusive Park,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said. “I am grateful to have a great Parks staff, supportive donors and an amazing community design committee. This is only happening because we are all working together. This will be a great addition to Goshen.”
Funding also has been partially provided by the Kerry Finningan Rupright Foundation and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.