JuLePs Playground

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

The dream of a playground all children can use is coming closer to reality every day with a $10,000 donation from Peoples Bank.

"It's good because it's fun to play with a playground,” says Madelon (Maddie) Reeves, a 15-year-old Parkersburg High School student.

She’s a teen with Down syndrome who helps valley children with disabilities.

"Madelon brought it to my attention; I start looking around,” says Juli Reeves, Maddie’s mom. “So I saw the need at that time."

They can't navigate the typical city park playground.

"A wheelchair will not go through the mulch; there's a rubber barrier all the way around the playground that the parents have to lift the wheelchair up over to even get into the mulch. Then they have to climb steps to get onto the playground equipment,” Juli says.

That segment of the population is being left out.

"Some of these children have to sit out on the sidelines and not get to participate and play with their siblings or friends was saddening,” Juli says. “It's disheartening."

West Virginia has the highest rate of disabilities in the U.S. and a Parkersburg organization known for their philanthropic work steps in to make a difference.

"We brought it to the Junior League of Parkersburg and at that time we decided to go ahead and make that a project," Juli says. "We voted on that and it passed."

Funding is a challenge they're trying to overcome.

"We would love for the money to come in so we can get this completed, so we're hoping in the next few years,” Juli says.

It's a groundbreaking new playground for the Mountain State.

According to Juli, this will be the first in the state to be a boundless playground that is accessible to all children.

The JuLePs Pathways Boundless Playground project will also have a walking track so moms can exercise while watching their kids enjoy the playground.

It will have a $400,000 price tag once it's finished.

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