Inclusion Park

This conceptual drawing shows what a proposed Inclusion Park on the city’s east side might look like. Donations needed to move the effort forward are now being accepted.

GREENSBURG — Former Chief of Police Brendan Bridges and a group of volunteers continue the work involved with building an Inclusion Park on the city’s east side.

An Inclusion Park is different from ordinary parks.

“Inclusion parks bring a sense of inclusion for children with and without disabilities,” Bridges said. “Children with disabilities often become bored with normal parks because the equipment is not suitable for them. An Inclusion Park allows children with disabilities to play with other children on every piece of the equipment. The goal with the Inclusion Park is to bring the children together and enable them to communicate and help each other throughout the park.”

Bridges is currently preparing a mailer about the Inclusion Park to let the community know this project is still in the works.

In 2019, the City of Greensburg granted Bridges permission to create a plan for the development of an Inclusion Park.

“Since the start of the project, we have formed a committee that meets monthly. During this time we discuss future fundraising and grants that we can apply for,” Bridges said. “We have also spoken to several community civic groups about the project and where we are headed in the next several months.”

In early 2020, Bridges met with Parks Director Robert Barker about the ideal location for the Inclusion Park. Due to the layout, amenities and location of Rebekah Park, Barker and Bridges felt it would be the best site for the addition of an Inclusion Park area.

The Inclusion Park will be integrated with other equipment that was recently purchased by Decatur County Parks. Once completed, the Inclusion Park will become part of the Decatur County Parks system and will be maintained by Parks Department personnel.

Raising the funds to purchase the specialized playground equipment needed is currently the primary goal. Bridges said there will be several fundraisers over the next year to help assist in the construction of the Inclusion Park.

“Over the next couple weeks we will be mailing out information to local business, asking for possible donations,” Bridges said. “We are also hoping that when the community sees information about future fundraisers local residents will support this project. This is for the whole community and we want everyone involved because we think this is a great project for this community.”

The group involved with this effort is currently working with an individual from Canada, Jason Rodham, who is a fundraising specialist. President of Indiana Miracle Playground Equipment Megan Miller and Dr. Tina Stanton of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who have both participated in other Inclusion Park projects, are also assisting.

“Right now, I think the most important thing to share with the community is that this project will happen and will be completed,” Bridges said.

Donations made through the Decatur County Community Foundation and earmarked for the Inclusion Park are tax deductible.

Send your contribution to the Decatur County Community Foundation, 101 E. Main St. Suite 1; Greensburg, In 47240, (c/o Inclusion Park); or donate online at https://decatur.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=195.8

“Your support is key to helping this project become a reality,” Bridges said. “Would you be willing to join us by donating to the Decatur County/Greensburg Inclusion Park? Every donation makes a difference for all individuals in our community.”

Kevin Green: kevin.green@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-651-0885.

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