Alton Park and Recreation Executive Director, Michael Haynes, was not about to let any hurdle get in his way of bringing the community of Alton its first universally accessible playground. He traveled to Springfield, IL during November 2016 when Play Core, GameTime and Play 4 ALL trained the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on the 7 Principles of Inclusive Design. Quickly after learning the critical difference between what ADA law mandates and the play environments designed for the “whole child” regardless of ability, Michael and his team quickly launched a play campaign.
With help from Cunningham Recreation’s social impact division, Play 4 ALL, the Inclusive Play committee positioned a campaign that attracted large corporate responsibility dollars from Phillips 66 and other community donors. Additionally, Illinois Parks and Recreation Association granted the project another $125,000 under the GameTime/Playcore Active Play Funding Initiative. Less than a year later, all the funds were raised to build a nature themed, universally designed play space for every child and family. Gordon Moore Park now has a playground 4 ALL ages and abilities where everyone can play together.
“Play 4 ALL gave us direction towards all possible avenues of fundraising in our effort to provide inclusive play to the Alton area. We’ve got nothing but positive feedback and support from the community in our inclusive play venture. Every day I drive by and see the playground full of a wide array of people it reminds me of how important the project was for everyone in the community,” said Michael Haynes, executive director of the Alton Park and Recreation Department.