This morning was a very special morning in the Town of Greece. Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich officially cut the ribbon in celebration of the first inclusive playground in the Town of Greece. Joining Supervisor Reilich for the ribbon cutting ceremony were Deputy Supervisor Michelle Marini, Greece Town Council Members Mike Barry, Bill Murphy, and Mike Bloomer, Parks and Recreation Director Peter O’Brien, Assistant Director Lisa Letta, and Parks Forman Marc Piccone.
The inclusive playground, located at Basil Marella Park, was built in partnership between the Town of Greece and Endless Highway. Endless Highway, led by Rob Tortorella and Caralie Fennessey, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring children and young adults with physical disabilities have opportunities to participate in adaptive and inclusive sports, recreation, and arts. This organization raised $50,000 with an aggressive fundraising campaign for the We-Go-Round swing and partnered with our young Greece resident, Santii Patel, who wanted something for kids with disabilities to play on. The Town of Greece contribution to the project was over $165,000. The Town of Greece led the rest of the way, supporting the remaining development of the playground, which includes a sensory center, swings, and the We-Go-Swing. The We-Go-Swing was introduced in January of this year and is one of the first in the country to be built and debut at this playground! It is the first wheelchair platform swing to meet all playground safety codes. This amenity allows a person in a wheelchair to swing with their friends and family without restriction and without having to leave the main play area.
Development and implementation of this playground was a community collaboration. On June 11 and 12 of this year, volunteers participated in a Community Build where they helped to assemble and install the majority of the playground equipment. This playground also features “poured in place” rubber surfacing, which is a unitary surface that allows for ease of mobility. Other site amenities include benches, shade systems, and a fence which is important for safety and security. The goal of this playground is to maximize the play value for those of all abilities. Additionally, the restrooms have been adapted to incorporate a changing table that is designed for both kids and adults to be changed with minimal challenges.
“We are fortunate to live in such a supportive community” said Supervisor Reilich. “Stay tuned as future improvements, designed for comfort and accessibility, are planned”.