Note: This article was featured in the August 5, 2015 edition of the Saint Charles County Community News, copyright (c) 2015 by Huneke Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Matthew DeKinder, Editor. Visit www.mydnews.com
Brendan’s playground in O’Fallon has been recognized as one of “15 Favorite Playgrounds of 2015” by the website Play Across America.
Brendan’s Playground is one of four all-inclusive playgrounds listed on the site as going “above and beyond” in providing equipment that allows children of all abilities to play interactively with other children. The website hailed Brendan’s a “an exciting and stimulating playground to children of all abilities.”
“Our entire city can be proud that this playground received national recognition,” said Mayor Bill Hennessy. “It was built through a spectrum of community-wide support and we are truly honored and grateful to our friends at Unlimited Play, the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board (DDRB) of St. Charles County, SSM Healthcare, and the many donors who made this possible.”
The fantasy-style, nature themed design with brightly colored, friendly looking bugs, mushrooms and other visually unique play structures was the collaborative effort of Unlimited Play, Cunningham & Associates and Cre8te Play.
Opened in 2011 in the city of O’Fallon’s Westhoff Park, the playground is named for Brendan Schmitt, a young resident whose genetic disorder made it difficult for him to play with other children on traditional playground equipment. The playground incorporates ADA-accessible ramps connecting nearly all areas, steel slides that are suitable for children with cochlear implants (because the slides do not generate static electricity), a variety of swings so that children of different ages and abilities can swing together, outsized musical instruments on which kids can improvise tunes and a splash pad.