Owatonna Kiwanis Club

“Play is having the opportunity to explore the world around you in a way that is fun and stress free. Children are able to develop physically, socially, intellectually and morally through play. Adults are able to bond with and teach their children through play. Play is a way for people of all ages to interact, learn and socialize”. – Amanda Gislason

Everyone has a story that changes who they are and what drives them to make the world around them a better place. The founders of “We All Play” project, Amanda Gislason and Missy Ahrens, stories each begin with a promise and a desire to make the lives of their children and others with physical and/or developmental limitations to have the opportunities to play alongside their siblings and friends without the fear of hurting themselves or the frustration of not being able to do what able bodied children can do. These two mothers discovered inclusive playgrounds and playing fields available throughout the state of Minnesota, but all were at least a 45-minute drive away.

The “We All Play” adaptive playground and Miracle Field project will provide a unique inclusive space for the community to gather, interact and play. It will bring people of all ages and abilities together where everyone can play together. The playground will also be a destination, as people from around the area and around the state will come to play. It will also bring business and awareness of the great things our community is doing.

Additional Information

We All Play is supported by the Owatonna Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Owatonna as well as contributions from individuals, private and corporate businesses, the school district and many non-profit organizations. The Owatonna Kiwanis Club is one of the supporters through a monetary and a purchase of equipment donation. The Kiwanis club members also plan to volunteer their labor alongside others in the community with equipment set up.
The We All Play project is already working with Mohs Contracting, the Owatonna Park and Recreation Department and the City of Owatonna to have the playground and ball field installed by October 31, 2021. Equipment has been selected, a timeline is in place by Mohs Contracting and work has already begun.
Owatonna is known for their parks and connecting network of walking/biking trails, but the “We All Play” project, to be built at Manthey Park, will be an enhancement to the community with its inclusive playground and Miracle Field. The $25,000.00 will help to ensure the quality of one of the basic needs of the project, an accessible and easily navigable surface to reach playground equipment which grassy and other surfaces often lack. The inclusive playground will feature equipment that gives children an experience with not only physical action with a We-Saw, a Wheel Chair Glider, a roller slide, rock climbing, a balance beam and a Side-Winder slide to name a few, but that of sound and touch including chimes, drums and a Chatter Noodle Talk Tube. The Miracle Field will provide the opportunity of being a member of a team. All the experiences will be so much fun. The appreciation of the ‘We All Play’ supporters will be recognized through signage and equipment plaques.