Local News

Community raising funds for all-children's park in Raleigh

Posted March 21, 2012 6:53 p.m. EDT
Updated March 21, 2012 7:25 p.m. EDT

— A place that's supposed to be exciting and fun for all children is in desperate need of a makeover.

The All Children's Playground on the corner of Glen Eden Drive and Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh was built in 1991, but because of evolving codes and safety requirements, the park needs to be taken down.

Now, there's a mission to raise money to build in the same spot a new park called Sassafrass All Children's Playground, which would benefit children with physical, emotional or psychological challenges, as well as visual and hearing impairments.

Dionne Lester is part of the effort to build the custom-designed park. Her 10-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy and struggles to play independently.

"Some of her friends have limitations, and some of her friends don't," Lester said. "She's looking for a play space where all of them can come and play inclusively together."

Sassafrass has been in the works for three years. The group has raised more than $200,000 from the community through fundraisers such as bake sales, fish fries and bowl-a-thons.

Construction is expected to cost about $2 million.

Taking one step at a time, planners say they have high hopes of breaking ground by the end of the year.

The project is a public-private partnership. The city of Raleigh has committed $450,000 of in-kind contributions such as demolition and maintenance.