Wouldn’t it be fun to get on a swing and just soar skyward with your children or grandchildren?
Thanks to a Quality of Life Coalition Coordination grant, visitors to Abilene’s Eisenhower Park now can do just that.
The City of Abilene received a Quality of Life Coalition Coordination Grant in the amount of $6,000 to purchase and install new inclusive playground equipment. This grant is made possible through the BCBSKS Pathways to Healthy Kansas program.
Funds were used to purchase and install a new swing bay and two swings at Eisenhower Park.
The bay includes a “Freedom Inclusive Swing” that allows children of all abilities to enjoy swinging in a safe and secure manner, along with a “Konnection Swing” that promotes intergenerational play, engagement and interaction between an adult and a child while swinging together.
Kellee Timbrook, Abilene Parks & Recreation director, reports that the new equipment has already generated lots of interest.
Staff have observed children and their parents or grandparents enjoying the new intergenerational swing set, which is located in the play area west of the city pool.
Vicki Gieber, executive eirector of the Quality of Life Coalition, is excited to bring inclusive play equipment to the community.
“We have observed that our county has been lacking in opportunities for some individuals with disabilities to fully enjoy outside play and exercise. Being able to provide this inviting play area which is accessible to all children or adults regardless of their abilities is critical in building a truly healthy and welcoming community,” Gieber said.
Developing accessible projects which promote tobacco-free active living is a focus of the BCBSKS Pathways Phase Two grant which was recently received by the Quality of Life Coalition.
The Abilene Parks & Recreation Department has established a mission to preserve and manage public parks and recreation facilities and to create recreational, cultural, education and leisure activities to benefit and enhance the quality of life in this community. The Parks & Recreation department encourages residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to make the healthy choice of increasing their physical activity by coming to Eisenhower Park and exploring the new accessible swing set.
The Quality of Life Coalition, Inc., serves as a catalyst to promote social, physical and mental well-being for the residents of Dickinson County, placing an emphasis on the reduction of youth substance use, and to foster a thriving environment in which to live, work, play and learn.
Dickinson County is one of 16 Kansas communities selected to participate in the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas program, which is the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The Pathways program provides community coalitions, like the Quality of Life Coalition, with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life.
About Blue Cross/Blue Shield
For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.