New Memorial Park playground to be installed this month
Location will be district’s first inclusive play piece
ROCHELLE — Located at Memorial Park will be the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District’s first inclusive play piece to welcome all children and adults to a play experience where everyone can interact. Inclusive play equipment enables children of all abilities to participate, no matter physical, cognitive, social, or emotional development, ensuring play options and engagement within all activities.
Establishing the district’s first inclusive piece is a meaningful step forward as part of our ongoing focus to bring play and activities to all. We want to ensure that all children and adults enjoy an equal quality of life in Rochelle, and with play being an integral part of one’s well-being, our parks and recreation facilities are making positive strides.
The Fat Cat Slots golf outing on Aug. 26 raised $10,755 to go towards the inclusive wheel at Memorial Park in memory of Beau Sullivan. Special thanks to Cory Myers and Corey Ansteth for their extra efforts for the event.
Beau’s family said, “If you were fortunate enough to have known Beau, you would understand how important it was for him to be included. He knew he was handicapped, but he felt more ‘normal’ than not. We lifted, carried, modified and finagled him throughout his entire young life to ensure this. We did everything within our power, but sometimes it wasn’t within our control. There is something about independent play with peers that can’t be replicated when an aid or parent is the only breach to the mobility barrier. Beau was never able to autonomously enjoy the same playground activities as his siblings or classmates. Recently, several individuals and companies donated valuable time, expertise, services and money to ensure that wheelchair-bound children, like Beau, will be able to feel included on a playground. We would like to thank everyone who contributed, planned, donated and organized for Beau to be memorialized in such an awesome way. We are in awe and cannot express enough gratitude to those involved, special thanks to Uncle Grant for remembering and making a difference.”
The Memorial Park playground was selected as a National Demonstration Site by PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research and Education, made possible through an initiative by GameTime and the SC Recreation and Parks. The National Demonstration Site Network is an important effort for raising national awareness and helping local communities share the positive impact they are making on community health and wellness. The Flagg-Rochelle Park District prepared a grant application to participate in PlayCore’s initiative and was awarded over $26,000 towards this project. The initiative will allow for ongoing data collection and research finding reports on Rochelle’s vitality. This information will be useful for future master plans throughout the park system. The new Memorial Park playground will be installed September 2023.