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A Dream Come True Playground

7/6/2019 - Gale DeAngelis

Family-Friendly
Dream Playground at Petzke Park in Kenosha, WI.
Dream Playground at Petzke Park in Kenosha, WI.
Dream Playground at Petzke Park in Kenosha, WI.
Dream Playground at Petzke Park in Kenosha, WI.

The Kenosha community is lucky to be the home of a fully inclusive playground for children of all abilities. The Kenosha Dream Playground is located at Petzke Park on Kenosha’s north side. The founder, Tammy Conforti, was inspired by a fully accessible playground that she visited in another community. She was an educational assistant at the time and found it heartbreaking that one of the children she worked with couldn’t play with her friends on the school equipment - because she was in a wheelchair. While Kenosha is home to dozens of parks, none of them had play equipment that was fully accessible. 

Tammy, the Kenosha Achievement Center, and generous donors in the Kenosha community spent three years raising money to build this 1,500 square-foot, fully accessible playground. Over 3,000 volunteers participated on the community build in September/October of 2015. The completed park attraction has been a huge draw to the Kenosha area since. Among the unique features are the playground’s continual ramping system so users can explore all areas of the park.  Other points of interest include:

  • Two bird nest swings
  • A wheelchair swing (requires a key to operate- contact Public Works at (262-653-4050)
  • A wheelchair accessible Merry Go Round
  • Adaptive side by side swings
  • Braille and sign language alphabets
  • Non-electrostatic slides
  • Separate play areas for ages 2-5 and 5+ 
  • Picnic pavilion 
  • Ropes, rings, monkey bars, and slides of various heights

The park also includes artistic features that pay tribute to Kenosha. Look for things lighthouses, ships, local store fronts, a streetcar, jelly bean shaped stepping stones, and even a 1960s Rambler replica.

The Dream Playground has a wonderful crew of volunteer ambassadors that are well trained to teach children and parents how to play inclusively, safely and respectfully. Visitors will also note the fence pickets. Anyone can purchase personalized engraved fence pickets for the park. The money raised from the picket sales will go into the maintenance and enhancement fund for future use on the playground. You can bring books to share with others to Amity’s Little Free Library at the park, it’s one of many Little Free Libraries in Kenosha. When you read the engraved names on the fence pickets you can see the dedication and love that went into the building of this amazing place. It is a must see for everyone!

For more information on the playground please visit the Kenosha Dream Playground Project’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/KenoshaDreamPlaygroundProject/.

Gale DeAngelis

Community Blogger

Mother of two, grandma, special needs educational assistant. Former special needs foster mom, part time potter, gardener and full time dog lover!

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