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Playing grounds need kid planning

August 14, 2000

Playing grounds need kid planning



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


Wanted: Kids who like to have fun.

Why: To help design a playground everyone can use.

That plea for help was made last week by three Washington County agencies applying for a grant to build one of 10 "Boundless Playgrounds" planned in Maryland.

The state grant could provide $75,000 for construction of a "super accessible" playground at Marty Snook Park, said Norman Bassett, administrator of the county's Office on Disability Issues.

Other agencies involved are the Washington County Commissioners' Disability Advisory Committee and Many Individuals Helping Individuals, also known as MIHI.

The Washington County Commissioners approved the grant application last Tuesday.

While open to help from all kids, it would be particularly great to get suggestions from kids with disabilities on what play structures they want, said Bassett.

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The playgrounds will be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Some existing playgrounds in the county aren't accessible to people in wheelchairs.

There are ways to make a surface that is accessible to wheelchairs but also remain safe for people to land on as they get off the equipment, Bassett said.

"Because of confidentiality and time requirements we cannot survey schools or service providers," Bassett said. "We need voluntary cooperation from kids and their parents in Washington County."

"For every kid with a disability who has watched other kids play on equipment that isn't accessible and wanted to be included, here's the chance," said Linn Hendershot, chair of the Disability Advisory Committee.

The grant must be filed by Aug. 30, so the earlier people give feedback the better, he said.

Interested youngsters may call Hendershot at 301-766-9155 or Bassett at 301-791-3383.

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