LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– The improvements to Littleton’s Clement Park are the stuff dreams are made of — literally. The park was becoming rundown when one mom had an idea.
“I reached out to Clement Park when I found out they were remodeling the park and really wanted to ask if they had input from parents in the disability community, especially children.” said Kiera Zink.
The cause is near and dear to Zink. Her 4-year-old daughter, Jordan, is in a wheelchair and has always needed an outlet for her to explore. The 30-year-old park was in serious need of upgrading to make that happen.
“Jordi is a lover of thrills, she loves music, she loves people and being social and she just loves proving people wrong as far as what they’re limiting her to be able to do.”
Zink received more than 1,500 responses from the community and incorporated their thoughts into the park design.
“Parents, grandparents, caregivers and ask them what they wanted in this park, things that were not readily available or accessible in parks in Colorado and what, if they could dream of a park, what would it be?”
Among those who weighed in was 8-year-old Adriana Gomez. Making the park accessible to all was very important to her. Thursday, she saw her own dreams come true.
“There’s so much accessible stuff that I can use and go on my own.”
CBS4 had a hard time keeping up. Adriana’s chair went faster than most people could run and her favorite feature, the “WeGoRound” was filling up.
For the first time ever, Adriana was able to experience what most kids can do with ease.
There are sensory games, chances for kids to explore their musical side and a cushioned ground for anyone who wants to push their boundaries.
“That’s the biggest part of this this whole thing was to take disability out of it and to see each other the same. To look at the ability that people have. The ability to play the ability to communicate the ability to socialize, the ability to just have fun,” said Zink.
The community was able to raise $8.7 million for the project. Jefferson County Open Space contributed $3 million, and the Foothills Foundation along with Great Outdoors Colorado also stepped up.
The improvements to the west side of the park include the new inclusive playground, improved lighting and restrooms, a new irrigation system, improvements to the festival and amphitheatre area, improved water quality in the Johnston Reservoir and improved pedestrian and ADA access to all areas.