Accessible Playground Will Offer Recreation for All Abilities

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board joined the Springfield Downtown Kiwanis Club to break ground today on a new playground at Jenny Lincoln Park that will offer accessible equipment for those with all levels of ability.

The Kiwanis Club conceived the idea of the accessible playground and partnered with the Park Board to locate it at the 9.3-acre park in downtown Springfield. The club raised $100,000 for construction of the park, which included a $10,000 matching grant from the CFO’s 2010 Metro Springfield Red-Flag Response grant cycle.

“This was a long journey and we worked hard to get here,” said Pat Dierking, President of the Downtown Kiwanis club. The group worked with the Southwest Center for Independent Living for guidance and resources to design the playground effectively for all abilities.

“It is another community-led initiative that makes this a community affair,” Greene County Associate Commissioner Harold Bengsch said. “That’s what our Parks system is known for.”

Park Board Chair Jerry Clark said the project is near and dear to her heart because her late husband was a Kiwanis member. She also credited Parks Director Jodie Adams, who celebrated the groundbreaking as one of her last official events before she retires after more than 30 years in the Parks system on Thursday.