This is my Masterpiece

This is my Masterpiece

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Building Julia's All-Access Playground

How do we build an All-Access Playground in memory of Julia Hatcher? It starts with a vision of Julia and Gavin playing together on the sidewalk while all the other kids were playing on the playground: on slides, in tubes, up on platforms, climbing stairs, swinging from bars, steering wheels, looking through a bubble window. The other kids trudged through the bark to get to the playground -- this was a place Julia's walker wouldn't go -- so she and Gavin stayed behind. Then it takes a vision of Julia and Gavin playing in a bounce house where there were no barriers to over come (pictured several blogs ago). And pictures of Julia on her swing set her Grandpa Doumas modified. And pictures of Gavin overcoming obstacles to play (pictured here).

Then it takes asking the question, "What if we took down all the barriers?" What if we created a place where everyone could play? Ages from 2 to 92 could walk or roll or even crawl across safe surfacing to play with ground level equipment, roll up a ramp and transfer onto a slide. Spin a rainmaker that was both pleasing to the eyes and the ears, practice the signed alphabet and feel the braile alphabet, giggle at their image in a wavy mirror, sit and rest for a while at a quite tree-shaded, bench box while enjoying the scent of lavendar and rosemary.

Then it takes a lot of people saying yes... Mr. Mistlin, the City Council, Julia's amazing family and then a whole lot more saying yes I support this with their time and their money. It was amazing to see the support today for the yard sale... especially in this economy that so many people bought something and then said "keep the change; it's for a good cause." Thank you for believeing in this vision and for loving Julia so much. Let's "keep the change" and build a playground without barriers that everyone can access.

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