The Deepwood Foundation, in partnership with the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Deepwood, broke ground June 15, 2021 on a new all-inclusive accessible Playground located at Broadmoor School, 8090 Broadmoor Road in Mentor, Ohio.
The project has been in development for the past year and a half and is funded from private sponsors and donations within the community to the Deepwood Foundation. The playground will be available for all individuals with developmental disabilities who are eligible for services through the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The project will consist of three phases, with the initial two phases planned for completion this summer.
”Children benefit in many ways from outdoor play. However, not all children have the ability to play on existing playgrounds due to physical or developmental disabilities,” said Rikke Coach, executive director of The Deepwood Foundation.
Through the creativity and inspiration of the Broadmoor School teachers and committee members, the project will begin with (phase 1) an Accessible Learning Center that has a shelter to protect students from weather elements which will be bordered with accessible gardening planters so that students can participate in gardening and growing plants from seed.
Phase 2 features the Activity Center/Playground, which will include all-accessible equipment, along with auditory and visual components so that everyone can be included in the fun and activity. The Activity Center will offer safe, endless play opportunities for individuals of all ages and all abilities in one accessible spot.
“Outdoor play stimulates speech, cognition, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and social skills more efficiently than any other method of instruction,” said Linda DeRosa, Children’s Services Director/Broadmoor Principal. “The play space also will promote self-empowerment and imaginative play for all kids, while allowing children with disabilities to play safely alongside peers.”
The project will eventually include phase 3 — The Leisure Center – which is planned to be a calming place with activities such as bocce, shuffle board, swings, and picnic shelters for older students and adults.
“With a little imagination and enthusiasm, the Adapted Playground has turned into a barrier-free complex that will provide opportunities for everyone young and old,” said Coach. “Dreams do come true, and we are so excited to begin building the playground and to bring this new feature to our caring community.”
“Thank you to our donors and sponsors David and Jacquie Clark Family Fund; MDRT Foundation; honoring Bill Robertson; Susan Petrosky; Menasha Foundation – ORBIS; Elfie Roman; Lantern Fund; Marous Brothers Construction; Mentor Rotary; Laketran; Scott & Kathleen Thompson; Quota of Lake County and Broadmoor LEEP Program – Class of 2020-2021 and the family of Patricia Kunkle.”
Read The News Herald coverage of the event by clicking here.