Farmington, MO, June 27, 2012 – A five-year vision in the making finally became a reality for Fredericktown, MO residents on May 5, 2012, when a ribbon cutting was held to reveal the new Fitness for All Children (FFAC) – Project Happy Feet Playground. The playground, which features Little Tikes Commercial’s line of inclusive playground equipment, is located in Azalea Park on N. Main Street.
“We are so delighted with this project. Everyone who has seen it has been blown away,” said Rick Lasley, board member of the Fitness for All Children committee. “It is sturdy as a rock, and it will be here for the children for many years to come. When it debuted during the Azalea Festival, it gave the traditional carnival rides some stiff competition.”
There were over 350 residents with some sort of disability residing in Madison County as of 2008, according to a report published by the Missouri Department of Education. However, no handicap-accessible playgrounds in the region were available for children with disabilities to use. Inclusive playgrounds provide play environments for children of all abilities. They offer activities that stimulate the senses, are accessible to wheelchairs and walkers, and are universally appropriate for kids of all abilities. With the addition of the inclusive playground, Azalea Park has become a destination for all children, including those with disabilities. The new wheelchair accessible playground, which is nearly 6,500 square feet in size, features fully inclusive access systems, which allow for multi-directional traffic. It also features a Braille clock activity panel, as well as the “Melody Maker” panel at chair-level. Various additional play components including an Infinity® Web, NU-Edge™ Stump Climb, Static Pods, and a Spinfinity® Sitting were also incorporated to provide play opportunities for all abilities.
The Fitness for All Children – Project Happy Feet playground was made possible by donations from many individuals and organizations in the area, including $30,000 from The L.I.F.E. Center in Farmington. Other funding was made possible by Madison Mobilization, The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), Rotary, Madison Medical Center, Madison County Health Department, the City of Fredericktown, and the Fitness for All Children committee (FFAC). The FFAC board members who contributed countless hours to this project include: Donna Thompson, Clyde Clifton, Larry Brewington, Rick Lasley, Jim Parker, Donna Friedman, Pam Helm, and Charlene Bennett, with grant assistance by Scott Gilpin.
“L.I.F.E., Inc. (L.I.F.E. Center for Independent Living) is thrilled with the completion of a fully inclusive playground for kids of all abilities,” said Tim Azinger, Executive Director of L.I.F.E., Inc. “We support the inclusion of children with disabilities everywhere, including the playground. Thanks to the completion of Project Happy Feet, our area has a wonderful place for all kids to play. We wish to congratulate all those responsible for making this playground possible. The Fredericktown community is to be commended for making this project a reality.”
For more information on Little Tikes Commercial’s extensive line of inclusive playground products, visit www.littletikescommercial.com or call (800) 325-8828.
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PlayPower LT Farmington, Inc produces some of the most recognized commercial playground and park equipment brands: Little Tikes Commercial and Iron Mountain Forge. Based in Farmington, Missouri and as one of the largest manufacturers of recreational products in the U.S. the company has been dedicated to providing the highest levels of quality, safety and customer service for over 30 years. Little Tikes Commercial is a brand that customers know and trust to provide innovative and developmentally appropriate children’s play events that promote healthy minds and bodies through unique and exciting play experiences. It is a brand that gives customers peace of mind in knowing that their complete playground project will be made simple through the support of the company’s local sales network and dedicated customer service. Little Tikes Commercial is a proven brand that is dedicated to enhancing the lives of customers, parents, and children by making Playgrounds Fun and Easy. For more information, visit, www.littletikescommercial.com.