Inclusive Playground Fundraising Goal Met
Bryan Area Foundation Grants $100,000 to Project
Bryan, OH: The Bryan Area Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of our area now and for generations to come by building community endowment, addressing needs through grant making, and serving as a leader, catalyst, and resource for charitable giving, recently granted $100,000 to the Lincoln Park Inclusive Playground Project. The Foundation’s gift, along with donations from individual supporters, service groups, the Blizzard Auction, local corporate partners, and city and state grants, will be used to build a new inclusive playground and fully accessible bathroom at the former Lincoln Elementary School site. The total amount raised to date is $730,000.
Incorporating the Seven Principles of Universal Design, the playground will include ramp entry points, a poured-in-place surface, braille and picture communication boards, a flush-to-ground merry-go-round, zipline, expression swings, and more. The Foundation was the fundraising partner for the City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Department, accepting and managing contributions through a project fund created by Bryan Parks and Recreation Board Member and former Bryan City Schools employee Paula Kline.
For twelve years, Kline worked with children of various abilities and would take them to Fort Wayne, Indiana, the closest to Bryan, to enjoy outdoor recess. She said, “During those hour-long drives, I would wonder why my hometown didn’t have its own inclusive playground. At my high school reunion, I encouraged my class to establish a project fund at the Bryan Area Foundation to have an avenue to collect and save donations when the City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Department was ready to move forward with the project. In 2022, they told me it was time to start planning and building it.”
A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Friday, September 29, at 2 p.m. to celebrate the campaign’s success, recognize donors, and begin construction. The playground will open in the spring of 2024 and create a destination where children and families of all physical, mental, and social abilities can learn, play, and grow together. Additional funds are still being collected and will be used for future upgrades.
Ohio State Senator Rob McColley
Ohio State Representative James M. Hoops
The City of Bryan, Ohio, Mayor Carrie Schlade
The Ability Center Executive Director Stuart James
The City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Board Member Paula Kline
301 East Butler Street
Bryan, Ohio 43506