Children with disabilities deserve a playground, says Deby Kominski of Honesdale. It’s her dream to build a $300,000 playground, preferably within the Honesdale Borough, to benefit all children.
Children with disabilities deserve a playground, says Deby Kominski of Honesdale. It’s her dream to build a $300,000 playground, preferably within the Honesdale Borough, to benefit all children. It’s a dream shared by fellow members of the Wayne County Inclusive Playground Project, Core members include: Heather Hogan-Spencer, Elise Burlein, Mary Ann Cavanaugh, and Kominski, who came up with the idea. The proposed playground would offer three different areas: one geared for children ages 3 to 5; another for children ages 5 through 12, and a sensory area with music, sand and water. Kominski says they need at least 3/4 of an acre of property for the playground, but would take more for future expansion. They’re hoping someone will donate the property. Quoting MHMR statistics, Kominski says there are 1,249 people in Wayne County with disabilities, both physical and mental. Kominski says that number could be even greater, since it doesn’t include people who aren’t registered. The breakdown is: 107 children between the ages of 0-3, 200 people between 3 and 5, and 942 people between the ages of 5-99. The idea Kominski came across the idea in a Woman’s World magazine, a story highlighting the nonprofit company Boundless Playgrounds®. A look at their website: www.boundlessplaygrounds.org, shares the following mission statement: “Boundless Playgrounds® is the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create extraordinary barrier-free playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, can develop essential skills for life as they learn together through play.” Kominski says the Massachusetts-based Boundless Playgrounds®, which already has 100 playgrounds between Canada and the United States, will help them apply for grants and sponsorship. The application fee for the project is $1,795. Kominski and Hogan-Spencer are undaunted by the $300,000 price tag. They say they’ll organize fundraisers to get the project off the ground. “We are open to any and all help from community organizations or individuals wanting to volunteer or sponsor the project,” Hogan-Spencer said. Hogan-Spencer takes the project personally. Her cousin, Maureen McGowan of York, Pennsylvania, was born with Spina Bifida. Now in her 20s, McGowan works with special needs children. Hogan-Spencer explains, “We’re a very close knit family, and we all played together as children ...We included Maureen as much as was possible. But there were a lot of times where we could not. She just could not go where we could go. And it made her really sad. And it made us really sad,” she said. Asked when they’d like to have the playground up and running by, Hogan-Spencer said, “Ideally, tomorrow. But, if it takes us up to three years, it takes us up to three years. If it takes us six months, then it takes six months. It’s already a need that’s not being filled for way too long.” To learn more about the project, contact Kominski at 253-1017.