DANVILLE — The makeover of the AMBUCS Playground for Everyone at Winter Park has been slowed a little due to COVID-19, but plans still proceed to celebrate the playground’s 20th anniversary next year.
Last week, employees of adventureTURF of Kenosha, Wis., placed a new top coat of safety surfacing at the AMBUCS Playground for Everyone at Winter Park, according to Bob Richard, Danville AMBUCS co-chairman of the project.
This is part of the playground’s makeover by the Danville Chapter of AMBUCS in preparation of the playground’s 20th anniversary. The project also includes replacing play panels and adding new play opportunities.
Like the project 20 years ago, the makeover is being funded through a community fundraising effort. The resurfacing was made possible from a grant from the Wheeler Foundation.
A grand reopening is planned for the summer of 2021.
“We have been fortunate in receiving funding from several local foundations. The Danville Chapter of AMBUCS is also using some of their funds for the project,” according to Richard.
“Our plan is to complete the makeover in phases. We added the large slide structure and have refinished some of the railings. The resurfacing will be completed (last week). We still need to refinish the remaining rails which will occur this fall and early spring. We will be replacing all of the original play panels next spring, add new signage, deep clean the sidewalks and replace benches as needed. The city of Danville is partnering in this project with in-kind services,” Richard stated.
The playground makeover campaign started last fall. They dubbed the project AMBUCS Playground for Everyone 2.0.
The universally accessible playground at Winter Park opened in July 2001.
For this upgrade, AMBUCS is raising $110,000 to add some new features and bring the playground back to its original glory. The Danville Chapter of AMBUCS initially committed $25,000 and received pledges. AMBUCS is seeking gifts from foundations, businesses, community groups and individuals.
The collaboration between the city of Danville and Danville AMBUCS during the past almost 20 years has resulted in the investment of more than $90,000 to update current equipment and add new.
Usage over time and the weather takes its toll, as with any outdoor playground.
The AMBUCS Playground for Everyone has allowed children, regardless of their abilities, the opportunity to play at a playground to the highest level of their own ability.
In 2001, the playground was at the forefront of universally accessible playgrounds. When it opened it was one of the first in Illinois to offer a playground that could serve all children regardless of their abilities.