A Playground for Everyone: Council Awards Bid
By Howard Prosnitz, Staff Writer
Teaneck Suburbanite, March 26, 2008, p. 1
A minucipal playground equipped for children who are handicapped is expected to be ready for the summer.
At the March 19 meeting, the council awarded a bid for $413,000 to Zenith Construction of East Newark to building the all inclusive playground, which will serve children, both handicapped and non-handicapped.
Approximately $180,000 of the funding will come from a Bergen County grant and the remainder from the Teaneck Municipal Outdoor Space Trust.
For Grenville Avenue resident Cindy Balsam, the playground is the fruition of a campaign begun more two years ago, when she started e-mailing council members and speaking at public meetings.
"All children should be able to play together equally," Balsam said.
Her youngest child, Netti, 5 1/2, is handicapped. The nearest facility for Netti to play is the inclusive playground at Van Saun Park in Paramus, Balsam said.
She praised Councilman Elnatan Rudolph, assistant director of the Bergen County Improvement Authority, for obtaining the money from the county.
"At first it seemed there was no funding for the project, but then we heard from Councilman Rudolph that he would be able to obtain a grant from Bergen County. As result of that first set of funds were able to get project," Balsam said.
"This is a playground that is long overdue," Rudolph said in an interview. "I am happy to support it and to have helped to find money to offset the costs to taxpayers. I look forward to my children being able to use playground and play with every child in Teaneck."
Pine Street resident Jorgi Moya has been taking her five-year-old son with autism to Central Parks in Manhattan. "My son tends to run randomly. We have many parks in Teaneck but none of them are enclosed," she said, noting that many children with autism have physical problems and are prone to falls.
"I am happy and thrilled that the town is making the effort to do this for the kids, and I hope that this is the beginning and that we are going to do a lot more," she said.
The 180 by 90 foot playground will be built at the north end of Votee Park just east of the basketball court and north of the exercise station, said township recreation director Glenna Crocket.
Equipment will include tot swings, swings for older children and adaptive swings for children who are handicapped, with seat belts, large plastic seats and plastic backs.
The slides will have access at ground level and playforms at every 12 inches. Sensory apparatus throughout will guide visually impaired children. The entire structure will be enclosed, and a resilient rubber surface will cover the ground. Crocket said she expects work to begin within 30 days.
All-Inclusive Playground: Where everyone can play together -- By Howard Prosnitz, Staff Writer, Teaneck Suburbanite, Sept. 24, 2008. p. 1
Township approves pocket parks -- Teaneck Suburbanite, March 26, 2008. p. 19