PELLA — After two years of planning, a groundbreaking ceremony for a more accessible park signaled a more inclusive future for children in Pella.
On Tuesday, community members gathered to celebrate the ground break of a park that was created in collaboration with Wonder Spelen and Hooyer Construction.
As previously reported in the Oskaloosa Herald, Wonder Spelen — which translates to “miracle play” in Dutch — is a nonprofit organization that has previously partnered with the Pella Kiwanis Club and the City of Pella.
All of the entities have been working towards an accessible playground for children with disabilities.
“A lot of work behind the scenes going back and forth with the City Council,” Wonder Spelen Board Member Mark Wiskus said. “The previous owner of this actual property was so gracious into selling the property
By having a groundbreaking ceremony, Wiskus wanted to put the project in perspective by gathering people who also felt excited about the park.The project was important for Wiskus because he has an 18-year-old daughter with a disability.
“We just feel that being Pella, this is the right thing to do in this community,” he said. “We have a lot of families in this community that have kids with disabilities, and we just wanted to provide an opportunity for them to enjoy and do what every other kid gets to do.”
Besides children, Wiskus also heard feedback from grandparents with mobility issues who will be able to play with their grandchildren at the new park.
“When we started into this project, we had no intention and didn’t even realize that was an option,” Wiskus said. “This has opened our eyes just to the point of what’s available and the demand for something like this.”
The ribbon cutting for the park is scheduled for the end of October.