ADA Committee Aims to Make Berdan Grove Barrier-Free
The committee is hoping to finance the project with a mix of county grant funding and private donations.
The committee is expected to present its playground plans to council and seek approval for the project at an upcoming council work session.
ADA Committee co-chair Marianne Pettineo said the barrier-free model is ideal for families with multiple children of varying abilities.
“The whole beauty of a barrier-free playground is that it allows children of different levels of physical ability to play side-by-side,” she said. "For a family with two or three kids, one of whom has special needs, they can spend the day at the playground with each child participating."
Barrier-free equipment might include handicap-accessible swings placed alongside traditional swings or playground equipment that is eye-level with a child who is confined to a wheelchair, Pettineo said.
Committee co-chair Steve Weinstein said he'd been in touch with the borough manager about submitting grant proposals to the county on the committee's behalf. The committee expects to raise funds through a combination of grants and donations from local businesses and non-profit organizations.
Committee members are in the process of visiting barrier-free playgrounds in the area and putting together a conceptual design for presentation to council and inclusion in the grant request.
Weinstein said the committee shifted its focus toward Berdan Grove both because it's more centrally located within town and because parking is close enough to the playground to be convenient for children with physical limitations.
While Berdan Grove is currently the ADA's primary focus, the committee would like all borough parks to contain barrier-free playground equipment, Weinstein said.
The committee is pushing the borough to consider making barrier-free enhancements to the Brookdale Park playground -- which burned down in an accidental fire two months ago -- and the playground next to Walsh Pool.
Borough manager Tom Metzler said the borough plans to add ADA-style playground equipment at both facilities.
If approved by council, the Berdan Grove redesign is likely a year away.