Not one playground in all of Portage County is handicap-accessible. That will soon change thanks to some caring and hard work.
For Kareen Everman's son, a day at the playground usually meant sitting on the sidelines. That's because he's in a wheelchair.
Now, kids with special needs will soon have a special playground in Portage County, one that will let them join in the fun with other kids.
"These kids want to be where the other kids are, so we're making a universally accessible playground, or an environment where all kids can play," says Everman, president of the "Kids Are Special Here" Playground Project.
The playground will be located at Mead Park in Stevens Point. The equipment will be accessible via ramps and low to the ground, and wheelchairs can easily move around on the surface.
With the final plans approved by the city, the final step is to raise $544,000 to build the new playground; a lot of money to raise, but in the end it will benefit everyone in the area.
"I think it will have a terrifically positive impact. This is a very caring and giving community, and it's just one more opportunity for them to show that caring and giving. They do it all over the place here," says Mark Barnes, Fire Chief in Stevens Point.
The committee has been working to raise the money for some time, but the effort is now going into high gear.
If you'd like to contribute to the "Kids Are Special Here" Playground Project, you can call (715) 592-3710. You can also visit the group's website at www.kashplayground.org