BOTETOURT COUNTY (WSLS 10) - An inclusive playground is planned to open in Botetourt County in the winter of 2018.
James and Jennifer Garner, the founders of the Addy Grace Foundation, along with the Botetourt YMCA Capital Campaign and YMCA of Roanoke Valley, announced a coordinated effort to build the playground adjacent to the Botetourt Family YMCA.
James Garner said this is the first playground of its kind for the Roanoke Valley.
While the Roanoke valley has handicap accessible playgrounds, there's a difference between accessible and truly inclusive. An inclusive playground is for everyone where children of all abilities can play together, rather than just being able to use parts of the playground.
"Building an inclusive playground has been a dream for me and my wife for several years now. When we heard the announcement in September that the YMCA would be coming to Botetourt, we just knew it was the perfect fit," said Garner.
The plans were announced on Tuesday and it's expected to cost $650,000. Community support is needed to fund the project and the first fundraising event will be a dinner at Blue 5 in downtown Roanoke on February 10, 2017.
The planned playground will occupy about 8,500 square feet of space on the future site of the Botetourt Family YMCA.
The Addy Grace Foundation was founded by James and Jennifer in honor of their daughter Addison Grace, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy. The foundation works to provide funds to families with children of special needs to help pay for travel and medical expenses related to the care for their children.
Click here if you'd like to donate to the project.