The Bradenton Kiwanis Club Offers Significant Donation for ADA Playground at Tom Bennett Park
Virtual design models of the future Bradenton Kiwanis Playground at Tom Bennet Park were shown on an overhead during a presentation for county commissioners on Tuesday.
MANATEE — Manatee County’s Tom Bennett Park will soon feature an all-inclusive ADA playground and the project is largely thanks to The Bradenton Kiwanis Club.
In celebration of its 100 years as a club, The Bradenton Kiwanis Club presented a donation of over $784,000 to Manatee County Commissioners on Tuesday towards the construction of the ADA playground. The new inclusive playground will replace the existing aging playground equipment that is at the park while also expanding the footprint of the play area.
Speaking from the podium on Tuesday, City of Bradenton Vice Mayor and Kiwanis Club Board Member Jayne Kocher thanked county staff for their hard work helping to design the playground according to the club’s vision.
"I’m hopeful this playground will bring our whole community together in play while helping those with disabilities have fun, further their development, and experience a true sense of belonging, as well as helping others in this community embrace the values of inclusion," Kocher said.
Some of the planned features for the playground include ramp accessibility onto the play structures, slides, climbing nets, a climbing wall, built-in sensory and cognitive activities, a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round, zip lines with accessibility seats, shade covers, and synthetic turf ground cover which meets safety and accessibility guidelines.
Presenting the donation on behalf of Bradenton Kiwanis Club and the club's current President Neil Unruh, incoming President Andrew Minor told commissioners that the local Kiwanis Club was excited to be presenting the donation check toward a legacy community park. Minor commended the collaborative efforts of county staff and Kiwanis Club Playground Committee members who worked on the planning and design of the playground.
"Our history is well stated for the last 100 years, this will put a stamp on the next 100 years," said Minor of the soon-to-be "The Bradenton Kiwanis Playground at Tom Bennet Park."
In its signed donation letter addressed to the board of county commissioners, The Bradenton Kiwanis Club wrote that it is hopeful the all-inclusive ADA-accessible playground for children of all abilities aged 5-12 will be able to break ground sometime in the 2023 calendar year.
To replay The Bradenton Kiwanis Club's presentation from Tuesday's county commission meeting, click the video below.