ALTON - The recent donation announcement by the City of Alton and Phillips 66 of funds and plans for a new one-of-kind playground will create a major draw to the area because it is universally accessible and inclusive for all children.

Phillips 66 announced last week it has partnered with the City of Alton Parks and Recreation Department by donating $125,000 toward the new playground project at Gordon F. Moore Community Park.

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The City of Alton Parks and Recreation Department has already taken major steps towards securing this all-inclusive playground, which would be the first of its kind in the immediate region. 

The city believes that now more than ever the community needs to invest in a project that brings people of all abilities, ages, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds together, said Alton Mayor Brant Walker. He added the playground will be geared toward children of all abilities, including those with physical, social, emotional, sensory, cognitive and communication disabilities.

Phillips 66 recently learned about the City of Alton’s plans and was eager to be a part of a project, which focuses on making a safe play space for all children in the community.

“Phillips 66 is a company that believes in the importance of celebrating diversity and achieving inclusion within our community,” Megan Allen, a Phillips 66 spokesperson, said. “This project is a perfect representation of the values we respect and abide by as a company. It was a natural connection for us to be involved in the development of this playground.”

Phillips 66’s giving strategy is concentrated on supporting programs which provide sustainable community development and are consistent with the company’s core values. Annually, they invest over $300,000 in the region and their contributions are primarily made in three focus areas – education and literacy, the environment and sustainability and community safety and preparedness.

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Michael Haynes“The City of Alton could not be more thrilled by the generous donation from Phillips 66,” Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Haynes said.  “Without their partnership, the project would be unattainable. This playground is going to have a positive impact on the region for generations to come.”

Haynes came up with the idea and Mayor Walker was in complete support.

“A crucial part is to have great green spaces, additional entrances, fields and concession stands put in the all-access park,” Walker said. “Michael Haynes has done a great job and put this together very quickly.”

The City of Alton plans to install the playground by June 2017. Additional funding is still needed to complete the project, and they have set a goal to raise an additional $50,000 by the end of March 2017. Fundraising details will be released in the coming weeks. Citizens are encouraged to share their ideas on design, theme, and fundraising of the playground. Donations will be accepted towards the all-inclusive playground by the East End Improvement Association.

Walker said there is going to be a donor program for families who want to participate with pavers, benches or trees around the facility.

“We can recognize them or the names of their families or loved ones they want to honor,” Walker said.

John Keller, an East End Improvement Association board member, said the group is looking forward to receiving and transferring the funds to the project. East End Improvement is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

He said the new all-inclusive park will be a great addition to the City of Alton and he said his organization views Gordon Moore Park as a vital part of the area.

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Related Video:

All Inclusive Playground Grand Opening at Gordon Moore Park