The “Harmony Playground” in Lititz, PA went from one local resident’s request for a wheelchair-accessible swing to a full-fledged playground thanks to the efforts of the entire community, assisted by General Recreation, Inc. in Newtown Square.
General Recreation is a provider of playground and recreational equipment throughout the region.
Kathy Blankenbiller, a Lititz resident, wanted a wheel-chair accessible swing in the community.
Everyone jumped on board at the request but didn’t stop with just the swing.
“Lititz is a special town. Our community always gets involved,” says Melissa Landis, who was with Beers + Hoffman Architecture at the time.
She recalled the difficulties she had with her own son many years ago when there weren’t play structures accessible for her son who has autism and cerebral palsy.
Litiz community members organizations and businesses teamed up to raise $80,000 to create Harmony Playground, an entire playground of accessible equipment at Saylor Park. They were assisted by General Recreation playground consultant Steve Hemler and Landscape Structures.
Harmony Playground has inclusive play structures for all ages, along with Landscape Structures and Rhapsody Outdoor Musical Instruments, celebrating Lititz’s music industry.
The project got underway when a core committee was established. It included Melissa and Derek Hummer, Vice President of the Lititz AMBUCS.
The project was supported by the Lititz AMBUCS, a local organization that creates mobility and independence for people with disabilities, and Warwick Township.
“It was definitely a community-wide effort,” explains Melissa.
The energized crew began looking at different swings that had a large deck for wheelchairs.
Through a referral from Schreiber Pediatric Center in Lancaster, they were referred to General Recreation’s Steve Hemler.
“Steve was great to work with. He helped us understand what was possible,” says Melissa.
Once a plan was in place, the fundraising started.
“It was quite an encouraging start when we asked one of our local pizza restaurants to house a small stack of our fundraising brochures. Next thing we knew, we’d received a $10,000 donation from the owner!”
Through a variety of fundraising events, races, service clubs, church support and news media outreach, the committee raised $80,000 over the course of two years.
The playground had its grand opening and dedication in May 2018. Besides the requested swing, Harmony Playground had a Landscape Structures’ Molded Bucket Seat with harness, a Sway Fun Glider, a Cozy Dome Climber, and a We-saw, a multi-seat seesaw for all age groups, along with a collection of Rhapsody Outdoor Musical Instruments.
The community continues to add pieces of equipment to the various parks throughout the town.
About General Recreation
Since 1973, General Recreation Inc. has been a leading distributor of commercial playground equipment. They serve Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and have helped hundreds of community leaders and organizations build playgrounds that are safe, aesthetically pleasing and made to last.
General Recreation project are supported by expert and trusted services, including site evaluation, playground design, installation and community build services.
Whether your playground will consist of outdoor playground at a pre-school or a large community playground, experienced commercial playground experts will help you every step of the way. Find out more about the work of General Recreation.