HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Cove Universal Playground, it's a place where children of all abilities can play together with no barriers.
A dream that started from a group of parents is coming to fruition. The nearly million-dollar playground is gaining community support.
"I see that my kids will be here in October, playing in the playground with their friends," said outreach chair Melissa Jones.
Plans for the playground include:
- 15,000 sq ft footprint for a gated playground with shade
- Smooth play surface
- Equipment addressing the needs of all children
- Two separate and inclusive play areas (2 to 5-year-old; 5 to 12-year-old)
Cove Universal Playground's outreach chair Melissa Jones said they still have a large amount of money to raise before the state's second Universal Playground can open in North Alabama.
"By July first, we need 350,000. Phase one will be able to be purchased," said Jones.
Thanks to the Randolph Middle School Astro-Girls Robotics Team, the playground is one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal.
"They just have such big hearts about this. Even after the money, they raised as a group a few of them said 'Well what if I want to do a lemonade stand just to raise money? What can I do? How can I get in touch with you?' and so it's super sweet," said Jones.
Jones said they are thankful the playground is gaining community support.
"We're getting a lot of corporate support. City council has been amazing. But also just the grassroots efforts of people buying a brick, buying t-shirts, coming to our events," said Jones.
The Universal Playground will eventually be in Hampton Cove, but Jones said playground completion is all depending on how quickly the recreation center it's being built beside is constructed.
"Once the rec center gets a little further along, they will have to put in the drainage and all the footwork for the playground. As you can see, the beams are up for the rec center that it will be coming along soon in the next couple of months," said Jones.
The goal is to open up the playground at the same time the recreation center opens in the fall of 2020.
Community fundraising events will be held throughout the year. Corporate donations can be made directly through the Operation Green Team Foundation. For more information, check out GrowCove's website or their Facebook.