WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The City of Wilkes-Barre is one step closer to getting a special needs playground.
After months of fundraising, the $4,000 project is fully funded. Now work will begin in the next couple of weeks.
“To see these kids to get what they want, it’ll be a blessing,” said Audrey Gowan, a member of the special needs committee.
Work to improve ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility at Kirby Park is set to begin next month. That includes new concrete paths to the baseball fields, pavilions, and ponds.
“It’s just a feeling of freedom and inclusion,” said Helene Breznay, a member of the special needs committee.
An ADA-accessible bathroom with charging station will also be added. Once that is complete, the special needs playground will be installed.
Lizzie Breznay raised more than $10,000 for the playground. It will be inclusive for children and adults of all abilities.
“You have children with hearing impairments, with sight impairments, children with various physical challenges, whether they use a wheelchair or a walker or whatever, and they are included with everyone else,” explained Helene Breznay.
“Each piece of equipment that you see here was picked out by parents, grandparents of special needs people,” stated Mayor Brown.
A merry-go-round and zipline are just some of the many pieces of equipment set to be installed.
“Lizzie is definitely looking forward to the zipline,” said Helene Breznay.
Audrey Gowan says her daughter can’t wait for the project to be complete.
“She’s really excited about having this park and so are so many other kids I have spoken to,” Gowan said.
“We also have an area in for future if we wanted to expand,” explained Mayor Brown.
The fundraising doesn’t stop there. The committee will continue to raise money for special needs playground equipment at all 18 parks in Wilkes-Barre.
In the coming years, each park will have special needs equipment installed. The fundraising for those projects is ongoing. The project at Kirby Park is estimated to be complete in two years.
A GoFundMe has been set up for those who would like to donate to the project.