By Doris Watson, Fun for All Playground Steering Committee
Until recently, the Brazos Valley didn’t have an all-access playground for people of all abilities — despite research suggesting that about 25% of the people in the seven-county region live with a disability.
But thanks to a unique community initiative, a wonderful project called the Fun for All Playground is nearing completion.
The project is a collaborative effort of the City of College Station, Coach Blair Charities and area Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. Six years ago, the idea of a Fun for All Playground was born with the idea of constructing an inclusive playground for those with limited means and disabilities. The most impressive aspect is that local donors, families, and community business leaders’ generosity made the project happen.
The size and cost of the $3.5 million initiative led the Fun for All Playground Steering Committee to build it in three phases:
- Phase I (completed in August 2019) — A fenced area along with a large splash pad, multiple swing units, and a large climbing play area.
- Phase II (completed in December 2020) — A 1/3-size multi-sport athletic field with synthetic turf — named the Carolyn and John David Crow Stadium — restrooms, shower facilities, a sensory maze, wee-go-rounds, and a musical play area.
- Phase III (design and fundraising in progress) — A fishing pier, quiet area, and stick forest.
Kroger Community Rewards Program
With the help of the Kroger Community Rewards program, donating for Phase III is easy — and costs you nothing! If you are a Kroger Plus Shopper, the rewards program donates a percentage of your Kroger expenditures to the playground.
All you need is a Kroger Community Rewards digital account to participate. If you already have one, link your Shopper’s Card to your account so that your transactions benefit the organization you choose.
To add the Fun for All Playground, simply update the Kroger Community Rewards selection on your digital account.
- Sign in to your digital account.
- Scroll down to the Community Rewards section of your account page.
- Select Enroll Now or Edit.
- Enter Fun For All Playground or NPO number HY776.
- Click Save.
Fun for All Playground will then display in the Community Rewards section of your account page, and new transactions using the card number associated with the account will apply to the program. It takes about 10 days for the Community Rewards total to begin displaying on your receipt.
If you are interested in direct donations, visit FunForAllPlaygroundBCS.com or contact the Playground Steering Committee at FunForAllPlayground@gmail.com.
Doris Watson serves as the Chair of the Task Force for Foundation Support of the Fun For All Playground Steering Committee. She is a member of the Rotary Club of College Station, one of the playground project’s sponsoring organizations. Watson’s interest in participating in the park’s creation comes from more than 40 years as a practicing physical therapist. She knows from experience the mental and physical health benefits of outdoor play and activities for those with disabilities.
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