Special playground

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Some children cannot use ordinary playgrounds. They have physical or medical conditions that make them vulnerable to injury. But there are special playgrounds -- Zachary's Playground in St. Louis is the closest -- designed to be all-accessible, which means all children -- those with and without disabilities -- can play safely.

That's the dream of Andrea Cunningham and others who are working hard to develop an all-accessible playground in Cape Girardeau. Cunningham and her husband, KFVS12 news anchor Jeff Cunningham, lost their 3-year-old daughter this year. She had a disease that causes low muscle tone.

Equipment, a special playground surface, site preparation and installation are estimated to cost $500,000. Supporters hope to raise the money through donations and grants. A not-for-profit organization is being set up to accept donations. And the group's request to use county park land for the playground was met with enthusiasm from county commissioners. The county's park commission will review the proposal.

Having an all-accessible park in Cape Girardeau County would be a major addition to the many services and opportunities available here. Hats off to Andrea Cunningham and others, including Leadership Cape, for their efforts to make this a reality.

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