Organized by Odd Fellows Lodge
10:25 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Keokuk Could Get Accessible Playgrounds

An effort is underway to bring accessible playground equipment to Keokuk.

Credit Joe Lisieski

The project is being led by the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Joe Lisieski said the idea came from a fellow member, whose extended family would benefit from the availability of accessible playground equipment.

He said the lodge has a three-step plan.

It starts with the installation of an accessible swing-set in a yet-to-be determined park.  The price tag is expected to be about $10,000.

Lisieski said if fundraising and grant writing goes well, that could be completed within one year.

The next step would be to add a multi-level play area to the same park at a cost of $100,000 - $200,000 with step three being to repeat the process in other parks.

Credit Joe Lisieski

Lisieski said Tolmie, Kilbourne and Rand Parks are currently under consideration for the new equipment.

He said this type of addition would prevent children with mobility issues from becoming isolated from other children or even their own siblings.

"Having accessible equipment (alongside)... equipment that other children are using makes for an integrated play experience for both," said Lisieski.

He said the lodge has already raised more than $2,500 for the project.

Lisieski went before the Keokuk City Council on June 5 to present the plan.

Aldermen encouraged him and the lodge to work with city staff and the park board on possible locations and available grants, but they did not commit any city money.

NPR has put together an online site and mobile app to identify accessible playgrounds around the country.