Swing for a cause
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Today was the ribbon cutting for a wheelchair accessible swing located in the Canyon View Park playground.
The Kiwanis Club of Grand Junction partnered with Hilltop, City of Grand Junction, Timberline Bank, Alpine Bank, Community Hospital, Whitewater Materials, and JGMS to raise money and make this happen.
The swing came from England and took 2 & a half years to fundraise for and open. The project planners made sure to find a location to install the swing where it would be inclusive to the other playground and swings. It was important for the kids to not feel distanced from the other kids playing.
“When we found this one we were really excited because it was right next to the swings so they can feel like they’re a part of it,” said City of Grand Junction Parks & Rec Sports Facilities Supervisor Marc Mancuso. “The kids out here and everything going on right now, the laughter & screaming, it’s fun. And for these guys to be a part of that is amazing.”
Marc is a certified playground safety inspector and when he was doing his research, he made sure the one he would be installing was safe and simple for everyone to use. As well as an accessible location.
“This park had a sidewalk and the accessibility to the location was easy for wheelchairs as well,” said Mancuso.
“I am not in a wheelchair but the obstacles that they face and being able to enjoy public areas,” says Founder of GJ Swing for a Cause Vanessa Perez. “It’s something that’s very important to me and I want to love my neighbor and there’s no better way to do that than making sure that they have a seat at the table.”
Vanessa also chose Canyon View because she sees it as the focal point of this community. It’s the most utilized and popular park. Not just for coming to play, but for sports games, events, and other family activities. She feels like having it in this space would impact the most people.
Swing for a cause is in the process of rebranding to become the Grand Junction Inclusivity Project to create more accessible spaces throughout the community for people with disabilities. Such as wheelchair ramps at pools and parks to get down to the water. The goal will be to expand into all public areas being accessible for people with disabilities.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like and how challenging it may be to be in a wheelchair or to be taking care of someone in a wheelchair,” says Perez. “And being able to come out to the park should be for everyone. Being able to go to the pool. And I would love to be a part of making sure that dream is a reality for them.”
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