This past month, the Coalition was fortunate enough to attend six ribbon cuttings in all corners of the state. A BIG congratulations goes out to Benton County, and the cities of Wenatchee, Lakewood, Spokane, Bellevue, and Anacortes. Each of these communities deserves a huge pat on the back for completing amazing projects which will enable and inspire their citizens to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
I’d like to take a minute to highlight one particular project—the Mission Park Ability Ballfield in Spokane, which was designed for children and adults with disabilities to participate in team sports. On the outset, the field looks just about like any other baseball field across Washington State….until you get a little closer. The field itself is a low maintenance synthetic surface, allowing the city to spend less time and effort on maintaining the turf. The gates leading out to the field are wider and the openings to the dugouts can accommodate wheel chairs. There is expanded lighting, accessible seating, and disability parking. And there is an outfield fence with extra padding. Some of the amenities that this WWRP grant provided are literally enabling kids with physical or mental challenges to participate in an outdoor, team sport.
If you want to be inspired, go attend a Bambino Buddy Ball baseball practice at this field. Watch as these kids get to throw a ball and swing a bat. The pure joy on those faces is why we here at the Coalition do the work we do. It was an absolute honor and privilege to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony in Spokane a few weeks back.
This event was a manifestation of how WWRP grants support healthy communities. These grants make it possible for physically or mentally challenged kids to get outside and play. Thanks to Spokane’s Park and Recreation Department for their hospitality and for making this project become a reality for so many deserving kids and their families.
Read Leslie Sigrah’s op-ed in the Spokesman-Review about the Mission Park Ability Field for more details about the project and its funding.