Variety believes that playgrounds should be thrilling for all children! The majority of playgrounds throughout Iowa do not offer adaptations for children with special needs. In 2014, Variety provided the City of Des Moines with its first all-inclusive playground, the Ashley Okland Star Playground, in memory of Young Variety Board Member, Ashley Okland. Providing a playground for children of all abilities to play together helps promote play, healthy physical activity and learning for all children. Outdoor play experiences provide the perfect opportunity to support inclusive play by creating awareness, breaking down barriers and fostering friendships.
Based on the positive feedback and the success of the Ashley Okland Star Playground, Variety recognized the need and desire for all-inclusive playgrounds in other Iowa communities. Variety has sparked a campaign in Cedar Rapids for a second Variety Star Playground and is currently exploring opportunities to expand the Star Playground concept statewide.
Star Playground at Noelridge Park
A $475,000 capital campaign to provide a 9,600 square foot all-inclusive Variety Star Playground at Noelridge Park on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids is currently in progress.
The Variety Star Playground will be the first of its kinds in Cedar Rapids. It will go above and beyond ADA compliance meaning it is ramped for accessibility, has a poured in place rubber surface and allows parallel play for children and adults of all abilities to interact and play together.
For more information on the Variety Star Playground and how you can help please contact Sheri.