La Crosse Kiwanis

Disability affects all of us. Whether we are an individual living with a disability, or a loved one lives with a disability, every one of us is affected in some way by disability. History has not been kind to those living with disabilities; there simply were not ways of integrating this population into everyday life. The result was that those with any type of disability were relegated to the side lines, often not being able to leave their homes much less chase their dreams.

The All Abilities Trane Park Playground is fighting that historic imbalance. The Playground is a place where mobility is safer, where physical movement can happen both independently and with assistance while providing much needed exercise and time outdoors. A place where activities and play stimulate cognitive skills while using muscles and motor coordination at the same time. Most of all, this Playground is a place where disability simply doesn’t make such a difference.

This playground helps us take care of our own, one child at a time. Providing a place where essential play can happen without barriers, and caregivers can breathe a bit more easily, is proof of the La Crosse Area, La Crosse Kiwanis, Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Kiwanis District Foundation, Kiwanis International and Kiwanis Vision Partner Landscape Structures working together to recognize a significant need and stepping up to fill the gap.

Additional Information

What organizations will support this playground project?: La Crosse Kiwanis, Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Kiwanis District Foundation, Altra Federal Credit Union, BNSF Railway Co, Chart Industries, Citizens State Bank, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Festival Foods, Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon, La Crosse City/County Tavern League, Marine Credit Union, New Castle Title, The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, Toyota of La Crosse
How will you ensure your playground is ready to be installed by Kiwanis One Day 2020?: The All Abilities Trane Park Playground is already under construction and nearing completion. Complications from the COVID-19 virus has impacted both construction and final community-giving resources. The 2020 Kiwanis Legacy of Play Contest will provide funding to close the financial gap while at the same time providing the equipment to overcome construction concerns. The project is on schedule to be completed with all playground equipment, unitary surfaces, plantings and perimeter fencing installed by Summer 2021.
Please feel free to include additional comments about your application.: An accessible playground is about much more than wheelchair accommodation. Playgrounds must create opportunities for intergenerational and social connections, sensory stimulation, physical exercise and access to nature. Designing playgrounds for children with disabilities and their families means creating spaces that include a variety of access, so children of all abilities can climb the hill regardless of whether they use a sloped path or stairs or a steep incline. Multiple forms of play must be included for social and motor skill development, allowing those with disabilities to play alongside those without disabilities. Range of risk considerations are also vital; unstructured, somewhat risky play is beneficial for all children, but different children, and parents, are comfortable with different levels of risk. This Playground offers options of different levels of risk and provides spaces for children of all abilities. The list continues, as care has been given in choosing sensory and tactile materials, ground cover for a variety of navigation needs, low-glare materials, signage for those who have low vision or use sign language, secure gated fencing that limits the risk of wandering, ample seating with clear vantage points throughout the playground for parents, quiet spaces for those with lower stimulation thresholds, and more. The All Abilities Trane Park Playground meets all these needs, and will continue to meet the Kiwanis International Mission of changing the world one child and community at a time for generations to come.