ST. GEORGE – The City of St. George unveiled design plans for its forthcoming All Abilities Park and Playground, slated to open in Summer 2015, at an open house Wednesday night held at St. George City Hall. The park has been in the proverbial think tank for some years as explained by presenter Kent Perkins, director of the city’s leisure services administration department.
“We held a public meeting about a year ago, and we asked everybody who wanted to come and give us input on the design,” Perkins said. “About a year before that, we went to the City Council with the suggestion that we should think seriously about building an all-abilities park.”
The park is designed to be accessible to children with “all abilities” and will be developed as an adjunct to the city’s existing Tonaquint Park, 1851 S. Dixie Drive in St. George. The city’s Web page for the planned facility explains and invites the community’s involvement:
Children with disabilities often cannot play in a standard play area – and can‘t benefit from the incredible social, physical, and emotional benefits that play provides. You have the power to change that.
The park is slated to open in June 2015. Among other things, its design includes iconic dinosaurs displayed throughout the park, a 2,700-foot train track that will circumnavigate the park, an interactive water play and sand areas with wheelchair-level sand and water tables, a sensory garden, a sound garden, a volcano shade area, and swing and zip-line areas with regular and high-back seats.
“We intend to complete one of the best facilities possible using our allotted resources,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said. “In order to build a facility of this quality, it will take many helping hands and we encourage all of our residents, businesses and organizations to get involved. We look forward to sharing the vision of this park with others and hope for further contributions – large and small – to help make this park a reality.”
The city developed the accompanying animated video depicting the planned All Abilities Park and Playground.
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Video courtesy of the City of St. George
In attendance at the meeting were representatives from Intermountain Healthcare and the St. George Exchange Club, which have made significant donations of $25,000 and $70,378 respectively.
“The St. George Exchange Club is excited to provide additional funds and continued support and donations toward the new All Abilities Park and feel that it will become a place enjoyed by all who use it,” the club’s president, Shonie Christensen, said. “We would like to challenge other service groups in the area to donate to the All Abilities Park to see see this wonderful destination come to fruition quicker for those who need it and will be able to enjoy it sooner.”
Those who choose to donate have a variety of options including general donations, naming-rights donations and helping-hands donations. The naming-rights donation allows the contributor to have certain aspects of the part named after their donation, and helping-hands donations will allow contributors to have their handprint cast in concrete and tile with their name included.
The park will sit on nearly 4 acres of land, and construction is expected to begin on Jan. 5, 2015. The city estimates the park will cost $4 million to $5 million to construct, and is looking for $1 million in donations.
Get involved – resources
- City of St. George All Abilities Park and Playground – Web page | Facebook
- Download donation packet
- Contact: City of St. George All Abilities Park c/o Leisure Services Department | Mail: 220 North 200 East, St. George, UT 84790 | Email: email@example.com | Fax telephone 435-627-4509 | Telephone 435-627-4530
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