Storybook Island receives large grant for inclusive park equipment
RAPID CITY, SD – Each year, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation selects a particular project to receive a generous grant of $ 50,000 to be devoted to its work.
This year, the board in charge of the selection process chose to grant funding to Storybook Island. The money will be used to help the park maintain its mission of being a place where all children can play alive.
In the spring, Storybook Island began work to raise funds to install new equipment that would be inclusive for all children. Thanks to a grant from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, they are now able to bring in six new pieces.
All equipment will be wheelchair accessible, including additional parts that will also allow autistic and visually impaired children to use them.
While the funding is a huge step to help Storybook Island, Executive Director Jackie Laws has bigger plans in mind.
“Thanks to the foundation grant and generous donations from the community, we are actually able to purchase six more pieces, so that will be quite a field,” she said. “Our fundraising efforts are not for everyone. We don’t want it to be in one area. We have eight and a half acres, so our plan is to incorporate all-inclusive rooms throughout the park in the future. “
The community also played a big role in this project. Storybook Island raised around $ 13,000 at its Adult Fun Night event on September 18th. Most recent still, the incredibly kind gesture of a donor to provide Laws with the funds to help bring a wheelchair accessible train car to the park, one of many items on their wish list.
Black Hills Area Community Foundation Program Director Carrie Robley is excited about the park’s potential future.
“Even though there are a lot of accessible places in the Black Hills, a lot of kids can only access the equipment, not actually play on it,” she explains. “And when you look at the range of different abilities and disabilities, it’s so awesome that Jackie and Storybook Island really looked at how can we help all kids.”
To see the wishlist and how to help keep the park open, visit www.storybookisland.org/get-involved
Storybook Island aims to have its new gear ready by summer 2022.