On February 19, the City Council agreed to the naming rights sponsorship that allowed the City to complete the playground. Toyota of Tri-Cities' commitment to our community led to the creation of the largest and most inclusive playground in the region.
The first phase of the rebuilt Playground of Dreams in Columbia Park opened for play in December with the help of a significant contribution by the Tri-City Water Follies Association.
Colin Hastings, President of the non-profit Tri-City Water Follies Association, presented a $75,000 check to help fund the first half of the playground replacement, which appropriately includes a hydroplane toy representative of the Columbia Cup event that has taken place on the nearby river every July for more than 50 years.
My name is Kason Creed and I live in the Tri-Cities area, I also happen to have Cerebral Palsy. This can be a very physically challenging aspect of my life when I want to do the fun things that us normal kids want to do. Like going out to play in the parks. The first public park I went to and got to play on a swing was two years ago in Spokane, which is an hour and a half away from my home. We had gone up there for a doctor’s appointment and stopped at the local park. I was so excited and had so much fun that day that when we got back home my Yaya (grandma) helped me look around for parks that were ADA accessible around the Tri-Cities area. We kept running into problems with either the accessibility would not allow for my wheelchair, and someone would have to carry me over, or the equipment would not be functional for ADA. Since then, and with the help of my Yaya and family I have become an outspoken member of the community trying to make a difference for myself and others so that all the children in the area can play together and have access to equipment to play in the same parks together. I have spoken to city councils, different cities parks and recreations, city commissioners, and I have even spoken with Laynie Erikson with KNDU News.
People ask me all the time “Why are you doing this” and “Why is this important to you”. This is important to me because I have to be the voice for the kids. I would like to see disabled and able-bodied children share the same park where we all have access to swings, playground equipment, and the ability to use them. We all want to play together! We can do that at a park that include equipment and access for all children, despite their physical abilities. We just want to have fun together and all of us enjoy the parks.