Several community groups, county organizations, and many families in Salem, IL were dreaming of constructing a special need, sensory playground in their community. In July 2018, this much-needed playground took a step towards becoming a reality when the Salem City Council unanimously approved the location for the playground in Bryan Memorial Park. The planning, development, and fundraising for the $350,000 park are all being facilitated through the Greater Salem Area Foundation, a local non-profit organization. Recognizing how this could benefit the local community, County Materials contributed towards the construction of the playground.
Playgrounds built to meet special abilities of kids and adults, also known as inclusive playgrounds, include many unique features typical parks don’t have. The overall goal for inclusive parks is to provide a fun and safe place for all people regardless of ability. Some of the unique features planned for the Salem Inclusive Park include: ADA accessible parking and sidewalks; soft solid playground surfacing for fall relief and access for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers; ramps for access to slides and other play structures; a roller slide with metal pipes that produces less static and prevents cochlear implants to short out; and several types of harnessed swings.
According to the local school district, nearly 20 percent of school-aged children in the county live with some type of disability. This community planned and supported project will be valuable for individuals of all ability levels and offer a safe and inclusive place to play.
“We appreciate the opportunity to support this local project that is so close to our Salem facility,” says Rebecca Sonnentag, VP of Promotions and Communication at County Materials. “This playground will bring joy to the community and is a much-needed asset. Our company is excited because the park will directly benefit our team members, their families and the community where we have our manufacturing facility.”
As of June 2019, the Greater Salem Area Foundation is still fundraising for the construction of the inclusive playground. The community organization hopes to break ground in spring 2020. This donation is one example of how County Materials demonstrates its Vision of Success, Stability and Support in the communities where the company has locations.