CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville Borough will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. at Irvin Park, Irvin Park Road, in Curwensville to celebrate the completion of Phase 2 of the Irvin Park Inclusive Playground project.
In 2018, a local family whose child has cerebral palsy contacted Curwensville Borough and inquired if the borough would be able to provide handicapped-accessible playground equipment at Irvin Park.
Borough council members and members from the Curwensville Regional Development Corp. started researching options for the playground.
Playground equipment suppliers were contacted to discuss equipment options and project costs.
To help make the accessible playground project more affordable a decision was made to separate the sections of the accessible playground into three phases.
Phase 1, which comprised of engineered wood fiber surfacing, and a swing set, which included a wheelchair-accessible swing, two AIA seats and two belt seats were installed in October of 2019. Funding for this project was provided by community donations.
Phase 2, which was installed in July of 2021, consists of an Accessible Whirl, Rhythm wall, bing boing and a cozy cocoon. Again, the community provided funding to help fund this project along with a Let’s Play Community Construction grant from KABOOM!
The benefits of an accessible/inclusive playground are that children who have mobility or other challenges are able to play and be children just like everyone else.
Children with mobility issues have the same desire to climb, slide, socialize, pretend and have fun. By playing together children with and without disabilities learn to appreciate each other’s similarities and abilities. This encourages empathy as well as social and emotional skills.
And it is not just children who benefit. There are parents and grandparents with mobility issues that can benefit from an accessible playground because these playgrounds allow them to go to the park with their child or grandchild and spend time together.