Ted Stevens Day Celebrated with Playground Ribbon Cutting at Cuddy Family Midtown Park
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski Encourages Kids to “Get Out & Play”
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Saturday July 27th, 2013, noon – Get out and Play on Ted Stevens Day this Saturday at Cuddy Family Midtown Park. The ribbon cutting ceremony for Alaska’s first Boundless playground will be at noon followed by free food, and fun activities kids will love. Come try hand cycles, skate the oval, duel off in the jousting pit, navigate through obstacle courses, and much more. There will be plenty of wild Alaskan salmon burgers and ice cream sundaes so bring the whole family. The new Boundless playground will provide an estimated 8,500 children with disabilities in Anchorage with a place to play.
Four years ago, families came together at a “Dream and Design” summit, to imagine what Parks for All could be. Leah Boltz is the playground visionary, and mother of a 6 year old. “Anna has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, walker or canes to get around. Two awesome moms I know–Christy Jordan and Rachel Leask–also have children with special needs who experience mobility challenges. When we met in 2009, we were lamenting the fact that Anchorage had zero accessible parks or playgrounds for kids like ours. Not only that, but grandparents and parents or veteran soldiers in wheelchairs had no way to take their loved ones to play. Sort of seemed to defeat the purpose of living in the world’s largest playground to us. And our kids, like all kids, have the basic need to play–to teach them life skills, social interaction, physical activity and the joy of laughing with friends and family. So we decided to do something about it, so we could all play together.”
Today, this dream has become a reality. The first truly inclusive playground in Alaska is possible only because of moms like Leah and others who believe in the importance of play in all kids’ lives. When asked what the first thing she is going to do when the playground is finally unveiled, Leah says, “Probably cry. I’m a total sap, and I know how excited Anna is to play with her cousins together at the playground. The first time I see them all together and laughing on the equipment, someone had better have a box of Kleenex handy!”
The funding for the playground was secured by the Alaska State Legislature, Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Rotary, the Rasmuson Foundation, Mental Health Trust Authority, and the Anchorage Park Foundation. Supporting community members and organizations include Access Alaska, Hope Community Resources, Inc., Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Office of U.S. Senator Mark Begich, United Way of Anchorage, The Foraker Group, Assembly Member Elvi Gray-Jackson, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, Military Family Readiness JBER, Stone Soup Group, Arc of Alaska, Challenge Alaska, Rainbow Connection, Programs for Infants and Children, Special Olympics, Alaska Center for the Blind, USKH, Land Design North, Ted Stevens Foundation, Challenge Alaska, and Special Olympics.
The Anchorage Park Foundation mobilizes public support and financial resources for Anchorage parks, trails, and recreation opportunities.