Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis Club

The City of Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania has no parks equipped for Special Needs Children. For children with cognitive or physical disabilities, finding a place to play that is not only accessible, but also conducive to the various needs of a child, isn’t always easy to find. The Wilkes-Barre Special Needs Playground, to be placed in our largest park, is a collaborative effort bringing together the City and local community organizations to build a positive, healthy, fun and all-inclusive environment.

The vision for the playground is to give all of our children a place to learn, imagine, and play together. We also see it as an answer to a shrinking recreational base occurring within the city. We believe the Playground will be a rally point for our community to come together for a transformative project. Wilkes-Barre Special Needs Playground will be a true asset to the Wilkes-Barre area and beyond, offering several benefits to our community: • Sense of community • Promotion of health • Rally point for children, parents, and businesses • Inclusion and diversity • Essential building blocks for education and imagination.

Our plans to improve the park include paved pathways, regular and specialized play equipment, safety surfacing and a changing station building so that individuals do not have to be taken care of in view of others.

We are a strong community, our commitment is sincere, and this is a project that can and will be accomplished. The need is clear. The help that this grant would bring is immense.

Additional Information

The Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis Club, The CIty of Wilkes-Barre, The Luzerne Foundation, The All One Foundation, Individual Special Needs Families, Individual Special Needs Teachers, The Indian Americal Association of Northeast PA
An Engineering firm has already been hired and will be starting the pathway paving soon. This will be the fourth all inclusive playground project that they have done. Several larger donations have already been pledged, but more is needed. We have held a number of individual events to raise funds and awareness of our goals, with great coverage by both newspaper and TV. This has brought a great deal of interest and support. Many needs have been identified by our committee and types of equipment are being recommended. Sights, sounds, scents, shade and especially inclusion are being incorporated into the decisions for construction and the equipment to be purchased, based on the total of donations. There is no doubt that this project will be completed within the time frame for Kiwanis One Day in October 2022.
The Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis Club has sponsored an AKtion Club since 1993 and we have had many yearly picnics in the park where the Special Needs Playground will be located. There are approximately 60 AKtion Club members. In the past we have always had to take all the recreational equipment for the AKtion Club members to use during the picnics. When the Special Needs Playground is complete, we will be able to have the AKtion Club members recreate on equipment as they have never experienced there before, certainly bringing a sense of joy to all. PLEASE NOTE: 1) The attachment shows the location of the Special Needs Playground in the central area of the map. It is a yellow outlined square. 2) AKtion Club Is a Kiwanis sponsored service club for physically and/or mentally challenged adults