By Terry Rogers
On Friday, May 9 local leaders and community members were on hand to dedicate the Can-Do Playground, located behind the Milford Boys and Girls Club in the Tony Silicato Memorial Park. The 32,000 square foot facility is designed so that children of all abilities can play outdoors. David Rutt, Chairman of the project said that the playground was being dedicated for the children.
“When it’s all said and done, we’re here for a dedication, and who do we dedicate it to? We don’t dedicate it to the Rotarians, we don’t dedicate it to the State of Delaware or the City of Milford. We dedicate this to the kids,” said Mr. Rutt.
Wilmington area Rotary Clubs developed a plan more than ten years ago to create the first Can-do Playground in Delaware, partnering with the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation. The project was a success with the first playground opening in Alapocos Run State Park in July 2007. Several Rotary Clubs in central and Southern Delaware joined forces to build another playground, and, after choosing Milford for the location of the new playground, the clubs worked to make the project a reality.
“The extra funds we have left after the construction will be used to build a bathroom at the playground,” Mr. Rutt said. “We also plan to place funds in an endowment to be used for upgrades and to replace equipment.”
Mr. Rutt explained that after the Wilmington playground was completed, new swings were developed that were designed for children with cerebral palsy, and funds were necessary to add those swings to the playground. Mr. Rutt said that with the funds in the endowment, they will be able to add new equipment while also performing required maintenance on existing equipment. The Wilmington organizations provided some seed money to the lower-Delaware chapters, and Mr. Rutt says that the endowment will allow the Milford group to help other areas who are discussing adding similar facilities.
“Seaford and Lewes have both expressed an interest in creating a Can-Do Playground in their areas,” Mr. Rutt explained. “The endowment funds will allow us to help them get started, just as the Wilmington funds helped us create this facility.”