After months of fundraising with the help of the People for Elmhurst Parks Foundation, significant contributions from numerous community groups, crowdfunding, and individual donations, The Playground for Everyone will be a reality at Butterfield Park this year.
The idea for a universal playground for children of all abilities began in spring 2015 as a dream project for the Elmhurst Park District, Special Kids Day, and the People for Elmhurst Parks Foundation (PEP). Each year the Park District makes plans to replace one of its 18 playgrounds, and budgets approximately $350,000, which is the average cost. However, the estimated cost of the envisioned universal playground approached $600,000, and therefore an incremental $250,000 was needed to make this dream a reality.
According to People for Elmhurst Parks President Pete Goworowski, “The community support has been tremendous, starting with significant community group donations from Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst, the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation and added support from Kick Off for Kids, the Andi Stelzner Fund of the DuPage Foundation, Elmhurst Rotary Club, Elmhurst Lions, Elmhurst Jaycees and Mobility Works. Funds were also raised through online crowdfunding, individual donations, and at the Be a Kid Again Fundraiser held in February of this year.”
In addition, at its March 23, 2016 meeting, the Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners approved the use of donated trust funds to bring the donation total to $250,000, achieving the fundraising goal set back in 2015. Project bids were also approved at this meeting for purchase of playground equipment, soft-surfacing, landscaping and installation for The Playground for Everyone.
Ground breaking for the new playground will happen in June of this year and will coincide with the Butterfield Park renovation project. The District anticipates a public grand opening date in November 2016.
For additional information about The Playground for Everyone, and to follow the project, please visit the Playground for Everyone webpage.