Everything begins with one person and one idea. In early 2017, the City of Waconia received a $5,000 donation from Quinn Larson and his family to kick start the fundraising for an Inclusive Playground for Waconia. Over the past year, the passion and interest in this playground - and providing a space for people of all abilities - has grown. Donations continue to be received at the City, totaling $246,185.84 as of July 19, 2021. The goal for this project is to raise $400,000 to put towards the playground project.
In the fall of 2018, the City Council authorized the creation of a 21-member citizen task force to the assist with the design process of the future inclusive playground. The task force began meeting in January, and for the next five months discussed their vision and what they would like to see in Waconia's Inclusive Playground. On June 3, the Task Force presented their vision to the Waconia City Council.
Take a peek at the slideshow below to view the playground design!
For more details on fundraising, please visit the City's Inclusive Playground fundraising page here (link).
The initial concept of the playground includes an inclusive play system and accessible surfacing, with costs of approximately $600,000 or more. The goal is to raise approximately $400,000. The project is currently anticipated in 2022, unless funds can be raised quicker - then the project would start sooner. The City has earmarked some funds for this project and is working on the concept design for an additional park building with restrooms adjacent to this playground. There are also additional grant opportunities available for the City to apply for, however those need to be applied for closer to the construction date and closer to meeting the $400,000 fundraising goal.
Please check back periodically for updates regarding this project!