Mayor Don Wesely, students and other members of the community today officially dedicated the new playground in Antelope Park, the largest and most accessible play area in the region. Mayor Wesely recognized all those who made the $434,000 project possible with their donations of time and money.
"Lincoln is no ordinary city, and this is no ordinary playground," said Mayor Wesely. "Since it opened to the public in mid-August, we have seen our dream become reality - the dream of a place where children of all abilities can play together. That dream and this project have really brought the community together."
Wesely gave special recognition to the students of Lincoln Southeast High School, who played a major role in the project. They helped with planning, promotion, construction and fund raising, contributing $25,000 to the project themselves.
"I can't say enough about the dedication and hard work of the students," said Southeast Student Council advisor Brent Toalson who coordinated the project. "They had the vision, and they had the determination to see it through. It's a great example for all students and all citizens."
Their efforts were chosen by the American Association of School Librarians to be included in a video series that will be distributed nationally. The series will show high school students conducting research and using school library resources and their critical thinking skills to solve real-life problems. The project has also been recognized by the Ventures in Partnership Program of the Lincoln Public Schools for its collaboration among Southeast High, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department and local businesses.
The ceremony included performances by the Southeast High Band and Rhythmic Sport, a dance and exercise group for children of all abilities. The dedication also included the unveiling of a bronze plaque engraved with the names of those who donated $1,000 or more to the project (a list of major donors follows this release). The plaque will be permanently displayed near the entrance of the new playground.
The City of Lincoln originally committed $100,000 in keno funds and another $40,000 in site improvement funds to the project. This summer, the City Council approved the Mayor's plan to provide another $50,000 in keno funds for the project. The funds were available because of lower than anticipated bids on the "F" Street Community Center project and surplus keno funds.
The new playground has 11 elevated play decks and is the only playground in the city to use ramps to access the elevated areas. Other features include 15 slides, 16 climbers, 28 interactive play panels, a special matted surface, a fun phone system on the elevated decks, age-appropriate play areas, a variety of swings, a sand area, a landscaped seating area and sensory garden and accessible restroom facilities.
Donations are being accepted for phase two of project, which includes an accessible picnic area and additional pathways, lights and landscaping. Contributions can be sent to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2740 "A" Street, Box 204, Lincoln, NE 68502. A note designating the donation is for the Antelope Park Playground should accompany the donation. All donations are tax deductible.
|ANTELOPE PARK ACCESSIBLE PLAY AREA DONORS|
|Match from estate of Marjorie L. Barstow||$50,000|
|Southeast High School students||25,000|
|Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation||10,000|
|Ameritas Charitable Foundation||5,000|
|Lincoln Fire Fighters||5,000|
|W.K. Kellogg Foundation||5,000|
|Nebraska Arts Council||5,000|
|Larry and Phoebe Toalson||5,000|
|Woods Charitable Fund||5,000|
|Gallup Community Builders||2,500|
|Pegler Family Foundation||2,500|
|J.C. Seacrest Trust||2,500|
|Southeast Rural Fire District||2,500|
|Hospice Care of Nebraska||2,000|
|Kawasaki Motors Mfg. Corp.||2,000|
|Tomi and Kevin Klein||2,000|
|Lancaster County Medical Alliance||1,500|
|Pound Middle School||1,500|
|BryanLGH Medical Center||1,000|
|Robert and Gladys Helm||1,000|
|Scott and Dyan Herron||1,000|
|The Lincoln Pediatric Group||1,000|
|Lincoln Police Union||1,000|
|Neurological and Spinal Surgery||1,000|
|James E. Perry||1,000|
|Randolph Elementary students||1,000|
|Kyle and Debbie Sitzman||1,000|
|Time Warner Cable community grant||1,000|
|United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska||1,000|
|Individuals and corporations under $1,000||16,500|
|Total Private Donation||$214,000|
|Master plan||The Clark Enersen Partners|
|Brochure||Bailey Lauerman and Associates, |
Jacob North Companies,
|Playground equipment installation||Southeast High School student volunteers|
|Public service announcements||Three Eagles Broadcasting|
|ADA restroom upgrade||Trendway Plumbing|
|Total In-kind Donations||$ 30,000|
|Total City Contributions||190,000|
|Total Income and Expenses For Phase One||$434,000|