Goshen Parks & Recreation Department reaches $50,000 fundraiser goal, seeks to go beyond

Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and organizations invested in the community, the Goshen Parks & Recreation Department has reached its goal of raising $50,000 for the construction of the city’s first-ever all-inclusive playground.

As of Wednesday, November 28, the department had raised nearly $70,000 through online crowd-funding platform Patronicity. The first $50,000 raised will be matched through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places program.

“We are beyond thankful to the community for showing their commitment to having an inclusive park in which everyone can engage,” Parks & Recreation Department Superintendent Tanya Heyde said.

Though the goal has been reached — and surpassed — the Parks & Recreation Department will continue receiving donations until the campaign deadline of December 11. Anyone still wishing to donate is invited and encouraged to do so. Any additional funds will go into more features for the playground and Hay Park improvements.

“This project is truly a community endeavor,” Heyde said. “The support that has been received is remarkable, from financial contributions to volunteering, from sharing our story to serving on the design committee; the community has really embraced the inclusive playground.”

Funding also has been partially provided by the Kerry Finningan Rupright Foundation and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

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) standards, the new inclusive playground will add elements that encourage engagement among everyone on the space. Designs have been created and Hay Park, 1414 W. Plymouth Ave., was identified as the best location for the new playground.

Stay up to date on the Parks & Recreation Department’s campaign by visiting patronicity.com/goshenplayground, goshenindiana.org, or following the department on Facebook or Twitter.