Over the past five years a myriad of community partners including five local rotarian clubs, the City of Milford, local and state legislators, the Longwood Foundation and countless individuals and orginizations have raised awareness and funds for a public playground that will be located behind the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club off Airport Road. The Can-Do Playground at Milford, which is expected to be built next month, will be a unique public playground for children and families of all abilities in Central and Southern Delaware. It will be a Boundless Playground™ and the first and only playground of its kind in Southern Delaware.
In 2007, six Wilmington area Rotary clubs developed the first Can-Do playground in Delaware at Alapocas State Park. It has enjoyed major success as they have seen visitors travel from 3 to 4 hours away to enjoy the facility. Thomas Talley, President of the Brandywine Rotary Club who was instrumental in creating the Wilmington playground, also helped Milford Rotary member including David Rutt and Mike Kazala begin the capital campaign for the Can-Do Playground at Milford. Over five years David Rutt has led the charge to raise the $850,000 needed to fund the project.
“The generosity of the community and organizations have kept this project going over the past several years,” commented Rutt. “There has been such a wonderful response to our fundraising efforts.” Mr. Rutt specifically mentioned local legislators including Harvey Kenton, Dave Wilson, Bobby Outten, Jack Peterman and Gary Simpson for being instrumental in obtaining a grant from Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
The Can-Do Playground can be used by any child regardless of impairment or condition as the equipment is designed so that all children can play together. For example, the traditional sandbox has been updated to reflect kids of all needs by introducing sand tables. These tables are large containers full of sand that are raised to the waist level of children. This allows children in wheelchairs or other disabilities to play side-by-side with all children their age. There will also be other equipment, such as swings, to accommodate children of all needs so they can enjoy each other’s company next to one another.
The equipment for the playground has already been purchased and is expected to be in Milford in the next several weeks. With bids for site work, concrete and asphalt installation due this week, the organization hopes to have the equipment installed next month. The non-profit organization created to fundraise for the Can-Do Playground at Milford has raised $720,000 towards their final goal of $850,000 and is excited for the final rounds of fundraising to secure the success of the playground. Just days ago the Longwood Foundation pledged an additional $100,000, above their original pledge of $100,000, to the Can Do Playground organization if they can raise an additional $50,000 from the local community. This would bring their fundraising efforts over their goal.
The ability of this playground to incorporate all children into play is what makes this project so exceptional. “We would like to see children who have impairments and children that do not have impairments playing together,” stated Rutt. “For those children and their families that have never had the opportunity to be on a playground it will be something very special.”
There are opportunities for the public to get involved and donate to this project. Although the use of grant organizations will be utilized, donations from the community will be necessary to see such an enormous project completed. To find out more information about the Can-Do Playground visit http://www.candoplayground.org and take a virtual tour of the facility already completed in Wilmington, Delaware. To find out more information regarding the Can-Do Playground of Milford and to get involved contact David Rutt at email@example.com.