SYRACUSE – Construction on a new playground will soon begin in Syracuse – but it’s no ordinary park.
A large handicap accessible playground will soon compliment Syracuse City’s Centennial Park on 1800 S. 2000 West. It will be called “Chloe’s Sunshine Playground.”
The playground is named after Chloe Bennett, a former resident of Syracuse who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and West Syndrome.
Her condition limits her ability to speak, walk, and to play on traditional playground equipment with other kids.
According to a release from Syracuse City Economic Development Director Noah Steele, the inspiration for the playground came from Chloe’s mother, Tara Bennett, who wanted to create a place where Chloe and other children can play together.
Several fundraising events along with generous donations from local businesses and residents helped make the playground possible. A federal grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund also helped out.
Steele noted that organizers raised approximately $400,000, which is sufficient to begin the first phase of construction.
Steele said the playground will feature amenities that are specially designed to allow disabled and non-disabled children to play together. The proposed second phase will include a water splash pad to be constructed at a later time once necessary funds are available.
Construction on the first phase of the playground is estimated to begin in August of this year and completed in October. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. on August 12th at Centennial Park.