PLANS FOR THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND at Bentley Park in Owosso. The Shiawassee-Owosso Kiwanis and Owosso clubs are currently fundraising to see the project happen.

(Courtesy Graphic)


by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

   The Community Inclusive Playground Committee, comprised of members from the Shiawassee-Owosso Kiwanis and Owosso Kiwanis clubs and other groups, is working with the Shiawassee County Firefighters Association to construct a safe, all-inclusive playground at Owosso’s Bentley Park. Representatives from the group, including Jim Demis, Anne Kruger and Linda Perkin, presented their plans to the Owosso City Council on Monday, May 20 in council chambers. Perkin, on behalf of the Shiawassee-Owosso Kiwanis Club, had first asked permission to create the inclusive playground in May 2017. Her request to raise funds to create the playground in the city park was approved – and the clubs have been working toward that goal since that time.

   The Community Inclusive Playground Committee wants to “add to the existing playground” at Bentley Park. The plan and equipment is coming from Landscape Structures, Inc., a company offering innovative and inclusive play structures to be enjoyed by children of all ages and all abilities. A letter presented to council states, “A child’s social development is as important as academic progress. Too often children are left out due to physical abilities. The inclusive playground will provide play equipment designed specifically for children with movement and processing difficulties, while providing the opportunity for all children to play together on the new equipment.” It is also noted that Bentley Park has other elements to accommodate the inclusive playgrounds, such as restrooms, a picnic area and the splash pads.

   The playground will include fun elements including a glider with a gentle swaying motion, an interactive Oodle swing, musical instruments, a Cozy Dome with peek holes with an outer surface designed for climbing and an interior quiet space, a high-backed spinner offering valuable sensory stimulation and more. The equipment is either wheelchair-accessible or easy to transfer from a mobility device.

   Currently, the committee needs over $100,000 to see this goal achieved. They hope to build the project in just one day, though obviously, many volunteers are needed. People interested in donating or volunteering should contact the Shiawassee-Owosso Kiwanis Club and/or the Owosso Kiwanis Club.

All-Inclusive Owosso Playground Efforts Continue was last modified: May 28th, 2019 by Karen Elford