Kids have their say for playground

April 3, 2009 4:06:34 PM PDT
A playground will be more than just a place to play for children in Haverford Township. It will be a place where they'll see their own ideas come to life.

Children and their parents throughout the township had an opportunity to brainstorm with the designer of the new playground, a facility that will be accessible to everyone.

"It's really wonderful for them to be able to see something in the playground that they actually suggested," playground organizer Ann Phillips said.

Ann understands the pride the children feel because she's seen it at "Possibility Place."

Ann helped develop a playground in Harrisburg, which is similar to the one that will be built at Haverford Reserve. The township has donated the land and $50,000 for the project.

Ann toured the site with the recreation director and the designer, who's eager to have children share their dreams for the playground:

"Particularly some of the children who may not be as mobile as a lot of the kids, their special ideas about what they really would like to participate in on the playground," designer Dennis Wille said.

Last night, at Coopertown Elementary, Dennis Wille heard from parents and some of the youngest township children, including 6-year-old Kiara Higgins,

who is quite mobile despite her disability and knows what she wants monkey bars in a playground.

Today, the designer visited classrooms at Coopertown and other township schools for more ideas from students.

"Sometimes people think this is a playground for children with special needs. It's not. It's a playground for all kids," Haverford Township Recreation Director Tim Denny said.

"This is going to be a great thing for people in wheelchairs. I can take my nephew and have a great ole time," Robert Tarra said.

The designer scheduled to unveil his preliminary plans for the playground Friday evening at Coopertown Elementary, with much of it being based on the kids' ideas.

Groundbreaking for "freedom Playground" is scheduled for this August...

Some 1500 community volunteers are expected to help build it in one week.

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