Nonprofits  November 11, 2021

Can’d Aid raises funds for accessible playground in Berthoud

BERTHOUD — Longmont-based nonprofit Can’d Aid is raising funds to build a fully accessible public playground in Berthoud to serve as the first park of its kind in the mid-Northern Colorado area.

The project is inspired by Berthoud’s Bowling family and is part of Can’d Aid’s Treads + Trails mission to provide tools and access for underserved populations to live healthy and active lifestyles.

Donations of any amount are encouraged to be placed online. The Braly Family Foundation will match up to $25,000 in donations through Dec. 31. All donations made to the Berthoud Adaptive Park Project will be used to create as many accessible and inclusive options as possible, organizers said in a press release.

The fully adaptive park is planned for development in 2022 in partnership with Will Edwards of Edwards Development, landscape architect Steve Wiens of Stacklot and Erin Starr of Star Playgrounds

“The passion to bring accessibility to this community makes this project truly unique,” Starr said in a prepared statement. “There’s a great level of understanding already that this type of project will be expensive and require a lot of time and everyone is very enthusiastic about moving forward.”

The idea for Berthoud Adaptive Park was sparked from the needs of a Colorado family.  Lauren and Richard Bowling are the parents of three young children, 5-year-old Braxton and 4-year-old twins Mack and Miles.

During Lauren’s pregnancy, Mack and Miles were diagnosed with twin-to-twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome and, in either in labor or delivery, Miles was without oxygen long enough to result in a traumatic brain injury, known as Periventricular Leukomalacia, that ultimately led to the development and diagnosis of spastic triplegia cerebral palsy at age 2. Though not affected cognitively or verbally, Miles is unable to stand or walk by himself, which makes him dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility, freedom and independence.

“The closest ADA-accessible playground to us is 40 minutes away,” Lauren Bowling said. “The community had no plans to build an adaptive playground, so we wanted to help provide that space for Miles and other children in the area.” 

Can’d Aid is organizing fundraising efforts and plans to host community events to provide volunteer labor when appropriate. The goal of the fundraiser is to assist the Bowling family and the project developers “to help reach the goal of bringing accessibility and inclusion closer to home for many in the mid-northern Colorado area,” according to the press release.

“Can’d aid works to empower people to make change in their communities,” said Diana Ralston, executive director of Can’d Aid. “We want to inspire more people to build inclusivity and healthy activities into their communities.”

Can’d Aid’s Treads + Trails program provides tools and access for underserved populations to live healthy and active lifestyles.

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