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“Inclusion matters,” Cedar Falls raises $1 million for inclusive playground

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Two moms watched their kids with disabilities struggle on playgrounds. So they teamed up to bring an inclusive park to the Cedar Valley.

It’s a project that would take about five years and $1 million, but they did it! The inclusive playground is now at the corner of Algonquin and Ashworth, and it’s possible thanks to the entire community.

Kids alone raised $13,000 through bracelets for Beau sales, birthday party donations, garage sales, pumpkin sales, lemonade stands, and hot cocoa stands. Contractors worked for less than what the work would normally cost. People donated thousands after hearing stories of children who couldn’t do something as simple as play alongside their friends and family. There were grants, in-kind donations, tons of monetary donations, and the city stepped up to help as well.

The opening day for the place to play park was this past Saturday. Around 500 people showed up.

Check out this drone video of opening day, shot by WHaerial professional aerial photography and videography:

Beau’s Beautiful Blessings is an organization created to, “educate and create awareness about epilepsy, brain abnormalities and intellectual disabilities as well as helping those who may suffer from them.” Moms Amanda Weichers and Sarah Corkery are a part of Beau’s Beautiful Blessings, and they played a huge park in bringing this inclusive playground here. They say inclusion matters, and they just wanted a place where all ages and all abilities can play together.

Weichers says, “it kind of feels like a wedding day. You have all these emotions and all these guests coming and you hope it will be the perfect day.”

Corkery adds, “We don’t need to have segregated places for different people. We all live in the same world. And so if we can accommodate things and make it easier for people who need a little extra help, it makes it more fun for everybody.”

In the inclusive park, you’ll find a zipline, a slide built into a hill, a sandbox, a sensory board, adaptive swings, and more. The turf is also so important for safety and mobility, and it was one-third of the million dollar budget. That is why they are asking people to please not bring their pets inside the fenced-in park.


Amanda Gilbert

Multimedia Journalist

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