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Morris County Volunteers Come Together to Build an 'All-Access' Playground

Wendi Manderioli

Saturday, November 23, 2013 • 11:41pm

PARSIPPANY, NJ- Energy was in the air at the site of the all-access playground being built in The Central Park of Morris County, located next to Greystone, ten minutes from Randolph.

In the middle of the crowd, helping to direct the volunteers was Tiffany Srnensky, whose idea it was to build the playground.  She was thrilled with the help that turned out, and expressed, “The community coming together and helping out has been the most touching part of the whole thing.”  

Srnensky came up with the idea after trying to have play dates at different playgrounds and found that all too often the playgrounds just aren’t accessible for children with disabilities.  Srmensky's daughter is confined to a wheelchair, and it has been difficult for her to maneuver in most parks with her children of different physical capabilities. 

Most playgrounds either have only one ramp leading to a small area, have separate play areas removed from the main park, or have other limitations not suitable for children with disabilities.  Tiffany felt that if the playground was designed to have a ramp lead up, through the entire play area, and out the other side, it would be more inclusive for all to utilize. Further, having all play areas in the same section, and having the proper surface for wheel chair movement, would allow for every child to be able to enjoy the playground.

Srnensky further explained her gratitude, “It just shows that the community supports kids like ours.” She gave an example of two individuals, one from Roseland and one from East Orange who just came because they heard about it. They didn’t know anyone there, but they wanted to come and help. On the initial response she heard from the county, she said, “The park commission was really supportive from the beginning; It was never a question of yes or no, it was a question of where are we putting it?”

The Alliance for Morris County Parks, in cooperation with the Morris County Park Commission, began building this playground for children of ALL abilities on donated park property at Central Park of Morris County, in Parsippany, NJ. Denise Lanza who is a Director for both organizations said, “We are so happy that we are finally building. We have been raising money for two years.”

The New York Jets and the United Way of Northern New Jersey provided the lead grant for the project. Other major donors included The Dearhaven Fund, The Kirby Foundation, Tiffany & Company, Finish Line Stores, Wyndham Worldwide and the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

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Ed Miller, of Corby Associates, was the leader builder for the playground, and was responsible for overseeing all the work.  Turner construction also volunteered their time and sent some employees to assist in the build.

There are two more phases of this all inclusive playground to come, the fence and the ground surface. An additional $15,000 is still needed to cover the cost for these final two areas to complete the park.  In order to donate please go to: http://www.parkalliance.net.

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