In partnership with The Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation, the City of Kennesaw and Kennesaw Parks & Recreation presented a Grand Opening Celebration for the Inclusive Playground at Swift-Cantrell Park on January 9, 2020.
With over 600,000 visitors each year, Swift-Cantrell Park is one of the most popular parks in Cobb County. Although the park is fully funded by the City of Kennesaw, a large number of patrons visit from outside Kennesaw city limits. As a result, the Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation formed to assist the City of Kennesaw in raising funds for park improvements without putting the financial responsibilities on city taxpayers.
The idea of adding an inclusive playground to Swift-Cantrell Park started in 2018, and it quickly came into fruition by the work of City Manager Jeff Drobney and Parks Director Steve Roberts. At the Grand Opening Celebration, Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation donated $100,000 to the City of Kennesaw for the project. Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation President Phil Barber stated, “Our foundation has long been passionate about creating a playground that is inclusive of all kids. We worked hard to raise the money necessary to make this project happen and worked tirelessly with city officials to bring the inclusive playground to our park.”
The additions to the park includes four (4) play structures over approximately 5,000 square feet that was previously unused. This area includes a main play structure with wheelchair accessible ramps that lead to a ropes tower, sensory stations, an eight (8) person wheelchair sway fun and a slide. The ramp system will also leads to pod climbers, a tunnel system and climbing apparatuses. The main play structure has 40 feet of shade. The entire 18,500 square foot space has been made accessible to everyone by removing the wood chips and installing turf. Every child will be able to utilize this space and socialize with each other.
All donations to the Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation go toward projects like the inclusive playground addition. At the Grand Opening Celebration, Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation Member Lee Elliot expressed his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the Foundation and said, “We are super grateful for everyone that has supported our Foundation by either running our race (Swift-Cantrell Classic), taking advantage of our partnership with Gas South or donating directly to us. You helped make this inclusive playground a reality.
For more information about Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation or how to donate, visit Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation online at swiftcantrellparkfoundation.org.