The Gift of an Airplane Inspires an All-Inclusive Park for Children of All Abilities in Reidsville.
All of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have come together for the City of Reidsville’s planned “Sky’s the Limit” All-Inclusive Park. The City will be building an all-inclusive playground with an aviation theme behind Reidsville City Hall later this year. But how it all came to be is nothing short of amazing.
What do you do when someone offers you an airplane? Last year Reidsville resident Elizabeth Hester contacted City staff about donating her late husband Bill’s plane to the City for possible use in a park. City Marketer Judy Yarbrough called David Ankin of Toymakerz to see if the plane could be repaired for use in the park as well as an educational tool to teach youth about airplanes.
Shortly after, two local service organizations celebrating their 100th Chapter anniversaries in
2022 approached the City about a joint project that would make an impactful contribution to
Reidsville. The Reidsville Kiwanis wanted to contribute $50,000 toward the installation of a
specific all-inclusive swing that is specially made by only one company, Landscape Structures. Reidsville Rotary pledged to commit $100,000 toward expanding a playground to include more equipment. This led to the City consulting with Carolina Parks and Play on conceptual planning for the project.
The City then approached the Reidsville Area Foundation for additional funding. In early March, the City learned its application had been approved with an additional $150,000 available, culminating in half of the $600,000 turnkey project. The puzzle was beginning to take shape, and the joint project evolved into an all-inclusive park that would benefit those of all ages and abilities. The City Council has approved the remaining funding and will be providing the land, parking area and restrooms for the park. These restrooms will also serve the north end of downtown, including the potential Depot District Shelter planned for across the street.
All of the pieces of the puzzle have come together to create Reidsville and Rockingham County’s first all-inclusive park. While some City parks have pieces of playground equipment for the disabled, this will be the only park that can be used by everyone. The City has been considering a downtown playground for many years, but this is the first time the idea has been able to become a reality.
The park will center on serving an oftentimes forgotten segment of our community. Children
with disabilities often feel left out, but when they get the opportunity to play and socialize with others during inclusive play, they learn to see past their differences. This interaction allows them to feel better about themselves while also developing physical skills and abilities. As kids play, they develop social abilities, enhance their communication skills and receive physical benefits of gross motor skill activity and exercise. These inclusive playgrounds also help those adults caring for the children as they can socialize with other adults while their kids are playing and socializing with other kids.
“This all-inclusive park/playground will be a significant addition to the quality of life for
Reidsville and Rockingham County,” said Mayor Donald Gorham. “These partnerships will
benefit not only our entire community but also visitors to our City. It’s a great project, and one of which we can all be proud.”
A groundbreaking will be held in the near future.
To view the live interview and get more details on the park, click here.
For more information, contact Judy Yarbrough, City Marketer, at 336-349-1099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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