Kiwanis of Charles Town

Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission has worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission of creating spaces for people in our community to recreation, contemplate, and play. In 2020, we received a grant for a playground system that brought a new playground to a park that previous had no play structure. This was exciting news for our community! We worked very hard to be sure there were inclusive play elements so all kids would have opportunity to play. We ensure there was ADA mulch in the playspace. However, once the mulch was in, it quickly became apparent that while we were offering equity, we were not offering equality in the play space. While a wheelchair can traverse the mulch play areas, it cannot do so easily, making play difficult for some rather than easy for all. Adding the Landscape Structures PebbleFlex surface in the current playground system would make the playground truly an equal space for all kids to play.

Additional Information

What organizations will support this playground project?: Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, Kiwanis of Charles Town
How will you ensure your playground is ready to be installed by Kiwanis One Day 2020?: Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission will oversee this project. Access to the park and preparations for installation will be a priority. The PebbleFlex surfacing installation will begin as soon as possible.
Please feel free to include additional comments about your application.: Jefferson County, located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and is considered a “bedroom community” to Washington DC and Northern Virginia. The demographics of the County are unique, having the largest gap between wealthy and challenged communities. In 2018, a study showed the highest number of homeless children in the state, as well as some of the highest incomes. Those that commute to larger areas for recreation and play for their children and families, do. This leaves a vacuum, and those families that may struggle economically are consistently left behind. Jefferson County Parks and Recreation is striving to close these gaps, offering more play in more places. This playground project will not only offer more play opportunities for more kids, but it will be the first and only fully accessible playground in our community.

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