Can-Do Playground dedication set for May 9 in Milford

Six Kent and Sussex Rotary Clubs join efforts on project
Umbrellas provide shade and benches provide respite at the sprawling Can-Do Playground in Milford. SOURCE SUBMITTED
April 29, 2014

The Can-Do Playground at Milford, off Airport Road on Delaware Veterans Boulevard behind the Boys & Girls Club of Milford, will officially open at 11 a.m., Friday, May 9. The Boundless Playground is totally barrier-free, a welcoming place where children with and without disabilities can play together while developing life skills.

At the May 9 dedication ceremonies, leaders of the Rotary Club organization that conceived and developed the playground will turn responsibility for its management over to the City of Milford Department of Parks and Recreation. Since the conception of the project in 2009, the Rotarians involved have worked closely with the City of Milford, which has provided the land on which the playground was constructed. Rotarians from six central and southern Delaware Rotary Clubs worked closely with site engineers to complete all preparation work for the 32,600-square-foot playground environment.

Rotarians from the six Rotary clubs formed a nonprofit corporation to raise funds and oversee the design, development and construction of the playground, while reaching out to the community for ideas. The clubs: Harrington, Greenwood, Felton Centennial (HUB), Lewes-Rehoboth, Milford, Milford-Mispillion, Nanticoke-Seaford and Rehoboth Sunrise, created the playground to provide a lasting place where families of children with and without disabilities can play, enjoy and celebrate together for generations to come.

The Can-Do Playground at Milford was designed in conjunction with the National Center for Boundless Playgrounds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities create barrier-free playgrounds where children with and without disabilities can develop essential skills for life as they learn together through interactive play. After two public planning meetings, one involving local adult caregivers and interested community-minded individuals and one with children who used their imagination to describe their ideal playground, the center created a design that accommodates the needs of children with specific kinds of disabilities: physical, developmental and cognitive. The equipment was built by Game Time Inc. of Alabama and installed by West Recreation Inc. of Queenstown, Md.

David N. Rutt, past president of the Milford Rotary Club and chair of the Can-Do Playground at Milford Project Team, said, “This unprecedented partnership between the six Central and Southern Delaware-area Rotary Clubs has resulted in the remarkable achievement of creating this unique playground which will benefit and be enjoyed by children and their families from the entire region for many years to come. Our Rotary dream and vision have become a reality thanks to the hard work, dedication and selfless contribution of time, money and the efforts of so many volunteers and through the generosity of foundations, the City of Milford, our state representatives, corporations, schools, organizations and individuals who want to make our community a better place to live.”

Gail Hamblin of Dover, board member of the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware, said “The Can-Do Playground offers our families the ability to participate in gross motor activities without hindrances often found in typical playgrounds. Our families are able to have better socialization opportunities in a place where childhood friendships are cultivated between children of all abilities.”