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City Beat Inclusive Playground Becoming a Reality Partnership with the Magical Bridge Foundation Moving Playground Reality Forward Submitted By: Chris Ghione, Community Services Director Chris.ghione@morganhill.ca.gov 408.782.9154 Maureen Tobin, Communications & Engagement Manager Maureen.tobin@morganhill.ca.gov 408.310.4706 Jill Asher, Co-founder jill@magicalbridge.org 650.520.5812 I magine a place where children of all abilities feel welcome and comfortable. Imagine a playground where children can interact together easily without concern for age, size, ability or disability. Imagine a play space designed with inclusiveness as a top priority. That is just what two Morgan Hill residents, and former teachers, have been imagin- ing and working hard to make a reality in Morgan Hill. With a combined 70 years of experience in serving children, Shirlee and Ron Locicero have made it their mission to bring an inclusive play space to the Morgan Hill community. This past summer, that dream has come to life with the announcement that the City of Morgan Hill will partner with the Magical Bridge Foundation to bring a Magical Bridge Playground to Morgan Hill’s Community Park. On, July 19th, the Morgan Hill City Council unanimously approved a partner- ship with the Magical Bridge Foundation, committing to obtain $2 million in funding for the playground. The City of Morgan Hill will partner with Magical Bridge Foundation this fall to apply for a Santa Clara County Matching Grant for an additional $2 million. Community Park rests in the heart of Morgan Hill and welcomes its 33,000 residents, neighbors from across the region, and 250,000 annual visitors of all ages. It will be the first inclusive playground in the stretch between San Jose and Salinas, a point of pride for the City Council, the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, and many volunteers. Since early 2015, the City of Morgan Hill has been working with the Lociceros and a group of volunteers to obtain funding for an inclusive playground in Morgan Hill. The Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground Committee, which was formed under the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, has raised over $70,000 for this effort. An “inclusive playground” differs from an “accessible playground” in that it has the aim to make it not only accessible for those with mobility issues, but just as importantly, to encourage and enable all children to engage with one another while using the playground. Successful fundraising efforts for inclusive playgrounds have occurred in a number of nearby communities, including Salinas, Palo Alto, and San Jose. In November 2015, the City Council authorized Verde Designs, Inc. to begin work on conceptual designs for the Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground. During the design process, the volunteers of th 5ɝ!%ͥٔAɽչ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)MAQ5 H= Q= H) ѕݽɭݥѠѡѕ)Yɑͥ́ѼѡȁЁɽѡ)չ䁽ѡ݅́́ȁѡ)ɽչQ́Ցѡɕ͕ͥ)ݥѠՑ́ЁɕЁ͍̰)չ䁵ѥ͕ͥͥ)ݥѠѡٽչѕ́ѡ ѕ)QՅͥ́ȁѡ)܁ͥٔɽչѼɕѡ)ѥɽչЁ չAɬ)Qͥѡɬձ́ͽ)ɽѡȁͥٔɽչ́ѡЁٔ)չՍ͙հѕɅѕ́ѡ)ݥѠѡ́ɽ՝Ё݅ɐѡɽ՝)ѡչ䁽ɕѼɕєͥ)ѡЁݥչՔѼѡ5ɝ!)ɽչ%Ё́ɕѱ䁉ٕѡ)ѡЁѼٕѡɽչ)ɽ᥵ѕ䀐Ըȁ+qQѡȁݥѠ5 ɥݔݥ)ɥՍͥٔɽչ)Ѽȁչ丁QѕЁ5) ɥ́Ս͙հɥ)ѡȁɭ́Ѽեѥݗeɔ፥ѕѼ)͕ѡͅȁչ䳊tͅ) ɥ́5ɝ!é չ)M٥́ɕѽȸ)ȁɔɵѥЁѡ5) ɥAɽչ5ɝ!)݅́ѼЁѡɽЁ٥ͥ)ɥɜɝ)ѽ乍(