Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester kicked off its opening day over the weekend with a celebration in Webster. The organization held a groundbreaking ceremony at the event Saturday for a new play area designed to allow typically developing children to play alongside those with disabilities. Once complete it will be the first of its kind in Monroe County. Director of Miracle Field Katie Kovar says some children who have physical limitations do not often feel comfortable on typical playgrounds.
“We’ll have cushion grounding, we’ll have wheelchair accessible slides and swings, we’ll autism centers, we’ll have shade, We’ll have everything really so that kids can really play together and feel safe and comfortable in that play space.”, says Kovar. Mandy Kresge says she is excited about the new playground for her 8-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy. “She does walk, but to climb on a lot of the equipment it’s very difficult and it’s dangerous for her," said Kresge. "So even if she wants (to participate) and tries it's dangerous. So this is going to be a safe playground that’s going to be wonderful for her to run around and play with all of her friends and they could all access everything equally." Kresge says. The barrier-free playground is the third phase of Miracle Field, and will begin construction in July. Phase One, a fully accessible baseball field opened in 2017. The nonprofit is currently raising funds for the other $250,000 needed to complete the project.