The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI) has selected the City of Charlestown as this year’s recipient of its Quality of Place – Pathways to Progress grant, awarding the city $150,000 to support construction of an inclusive playground downtown.
The “Greenway Glow Up” project will update outdated, malfunctioning playground equipment in Greenway Park – the city’s centralized and most-used park – and replace it with safer, ADA-approved equipment for children of all ability levels. The park’s central location makes its accessibility ideal for walkers and bikers, as well as those living in the Charlestown Housing Authority.
“More than anything, we want people to see Charlestown as a place where everyone feels welcome. This is why we sought community feedback when we developed our park’s Master Plan last year,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “Thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, we are able to take a need identified in our stakeholder meetings and transform it into an action item by updating the play equipment in Greenway Park to include accessibility. We grow best when we grow together. This project will not only fulfill a significant need for Charlestown residents but will serve families and children in the nearby unincorporated areas of Clark County, as well.”
The project will be the third of CFSI’s Quality of Place – Pathways to Progress Grants Program, which is in its second full year. The program focuses on projects by Clark or Floyd County nonprofits that serve people with the least access to safe, high-quality public places and amenities, including those community members with income or transportation barriers and/or mobility issues, or physical and/or mental differences.
Linda Speed, president and CEO for the Community Foundation said, "With this grant program, we have focused solely on quality of place projects that could help transform our region. The idea stemmed from us hearing from our community and learning that when we make our parks, trails, and other public spaces and amenities more accessible to our most vulnerable residents, we make our community more open and welcoming to all. So, we knew we needed to make this a priority in our communities moving forward.”
The inclusive playground will feature many designs that aid children with mobility issues, including an ADA transfer station to easily move wheelchairs and walkers to an elevated platform, inclusive swing sets, and an inclusive Revolution Spinner. Other upgrades include climb and crawl structures, interactive/sensory panels, and rubber safety surfacing throughout. The installation of the new equipment is slated to begin in early 2023.
In the grants program’s inaugural year, the Jeffersonville Township Public Library and the Floyd County Parks and Recreation were selected as grantees. Floyd County Parks and Recreation was awarded $70,000 to support the recently-opened accessible playground at Kevin Hammersmith Memorial Park in New Albany, while the Jeff Library was awarded $80,000 to construct their own Pocket Park, which will open later this year.
For more information on the Foundation’s Quality of Place - Pathways to Progress grants program, please visit our website at www.CFSouthernIndiana.com.
The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana was founded in 1991 as the region’s partner, resource, and steward in philanthropy. The Foundation manages $164 million in charitable assets and more than 280 individual funds – each of which supports the unique charitable intent of the donor who established the fund. Annually, the Foundation awards millions in grants and scholarships and is a National Standards certified community foundation. For more information about the Community Foundation, contact 812-948-4662 or visit www.cfsouthernindiana.com.