Local Mother Tries to Bring All Abilities Playground to Carson City
Enjoying time in a traditional playground can be difficult, if not impossible for families with handicapped or special needs children. Reno and Sparks each have one "all abilities" playgrounds - Carson City has none. One Dayton mom is doing something to change that.
Wendy Robards says, ”We've always been able to get to the park, but once we're at the park, there's nothing for her to do. She's always left on the sidelines to watch her siblings play, to watch her peers run off and leave her sitting there.”
Wendy’s oldest daughter, Aubrie was born with a rare disorder and has been in a wheelchair her whole life. So, Wendy joined forces with others equally passionate about creating a place that people of all ages and abilities could enjoy. About a year ago the Wendy Robards Universal Dream Park Foundation was launched. The goal - the first universally accessible playground in Carson City.
Barron Lauderbaugh created the graphic design for the new park. "We want to be able to have a wheelchair swing next to a regular swing, that might be next to a bay swing so that siblings can swing together.”
But it's about a lot more than wheelchair access. “We're looking at autistic children, we're looking at Vets coming back from service that have been injured and can't get around - we want this accessible to them, we're gonna have exercise equipment that the elderly can come.”
Lauderbaugh and others on the foundation have been working on this goal for about a year - and they've made good progress; the city has granted them permission to renovate the existing playground at Mills Park in Carson City.
The foundation estimates it will cost about $1 million to build the new dream park and hope to raise enough money to break ground in one year.
The foundation is holding its first fundraiser Tuesday night in Carson City. Admission is only $15 and it will be held at the Carson City Community Center at 851 East William Street from 4pm-8pm. There will chocolate, wine and shopping.