From an interview with:
Ken Van Camp
Crossing Abilities – Design Committee Chair
Crossing Abilities playground was completed in November 2013, and the Freenotes “sound garden” was installed in March 2014.
How were the funds provided (grant, County/City project, fund raising)
Funds were all raised from private sources, primarily supported by many businesses in the area.
Is it an ADA Accessible project/park
Yes, Crossing Abilities is completely ADA accessible, as our purpose was to build an all-inclusive playground. We are building a safe and accessible outdoor playground that fosters imaginative play and developmental learning. This will enhance the quality of life of children with disabilities through fitness and socialization. At this playground, differences disappear and children share experiences with their peers, while exploring equipment and learning at their own level.
Now a little history:
The project began in 2010 when Neal Gallagher, who was then chairman of the Big Pocono Challenger Baseball program, began talking with parents about the need for children in the area with varying abilities to have more options for play and peer interaction. He and two other members of the Big Pocono Little League board formed Crossing Abilities along with a few other volunteers, and were awarded a $25,000 grant later that year from the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser organization, to start the project going. In 2011, the project officially became part of Pocono Alliance, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Monroe County, PA, by identifying unmet human services needs and working toward solutions. In 2012 and 2013, major fundraising efforts backed by Pocono Alliance resulted in finding several area businesses who committed many thousands of dollars – an especially amazing accomplishment in the face of a poor economic climate! The playground was constructed in 2013, and the music garden added in March 2014.
While our initial focus was on building a playground, we were introduced to the idea of adding a “sound garden” as a novel way to promote cooperative play among children of all ages and abilities, and we wound up purchasing 5 instruments from Freenotes/Harmony Park: Swirl, Merry, Tuned Drums, Pagoda Bells, and Contrabass Chimes. The sound garden has proven to be extremely popular with both children and adults.
The park is located at Mountain View Park, on Sullivan Trail, Tannersville PA. See the park’s website for detailed location: http://www.poconotownship.org/MTVIEWPARK.html
For more details see our website: http://www.crossingabilities.org/ or there Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/139905732712051/