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Inclusion park open to all

DJ Becker/The Madera Tribune

Mary Anne Seay, director of Madera Parks and Community Services, speaks Nov. 17 as she prepares to open a new playground adjacent to the John Wells Youth Center on East 5th Street. The playground has many new innovative designs to accommodate children of all ages and those with disabilities or in wheelchairs.


A crowd of children waited eagerly the afternoon of Nov. 17 to be able to use the latest and most innovative playground in Madera.

Adjacent to the John Wells Youth Center on East 5th Street, the colorful playground contains ramps, safe play surfaces, exploration and even musical features to stimulate children’s minds, and their senses of exploration and learning, according to Mary Anne Seay, director of Madera Parks and Community Services.

The $800,000 project, designed by Odell Engineering, had taken the city department just over a year in planning and construction, she said.

The project had been funded through donations from the Fansler Foundation, The Madera Realtors Association, The Madera Auto Center and grants from two housing related sources, a grant from the Recycled Tire program and local Parks and Development fees, she said.

“There are slides, motion features and also public art, and an imagination garden. Play stimulates children’s mental and physical development. All Children benefit from play and social interaction. Madera (kids) deserve this,” Seay said.

Seay said there were many benefits to this type of learning and play, and thanked her staff, community leaders and the many diverse groups in the community whose support and dedicated efforts made the project possible.

“It truly takes a village,” to accomplish something like this, Seay proudly said.

The park will be open from dawn to dusk and Seay encouraged Madera parents and children to drop by to see and use the new facility.

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