MENIFEE – The Menifee Community Services Department announced it has been awarded a matching grant in the amount of $75,000 from the California Park and Recreation Society, through their Healthy Play Initiative grant program, for the purchase of universal playground equipment to be installed at Lyle Marsh Park. The Community Services Department has invited residents to attend a design charrette, which is an intensive planning session attended by all relative parties, to receive more information about the grant and to provide input on the project design. The design charrette has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, at the Community Services North Annex Building, 29995 Evans Road, in Menifee.
The Lyle Marsh Inclusive Playground will be the first phase of improvements planned for Lyle Marsh Park. Staff has identified Lyle Marsh as an ideal site for not only an inclusive playground, but other improvements on the eastern side of the park, which is adjacent to Chester Morrison Elementary School. The conceptual plan is to have the universal playground serve as the primary focus of the play area and include a walking trail at the perimeter of the play area and park with outdoor exercise fitness stations. The project will also include the expansion of the parking lot and the addition of a restroom building, all to be funded through other sources at a later phase. The project’s proximity to the elementary school will help increase opportunities for a successful inclusive environment as schools are the best way to reach the community through children. The Lyle Marsh Inclusive Playground Project will be the first of its kind in Menifee and the start of an inclusion play initiative.
“The city of Menifee recognizes the importance of providing inclusive play spaces to offer the opportunity for all children to play alongside one another. Doing so supports the physical, social and cognitive development of all children, which benefits everyone” Ronald Bradley, Menifee’s city manager, said. “This project shows our commitment to create a more inclusive environment, through programs, activities and services. We encourage resident feedback as we prepare to design Menifee’s first inclusive playground.”
The California Park and Recreation Society and two widely known playground equipment manufacturers, PlayCore and GameTime, joined forces to promote a healthy play initiative to provide statewide training and funding in order to encourage best practice design considerations for healthy play and create outdoor recreation spaces that align with research-based best practices. Eligible program categories included play systems, challenge courses and outdoor fitness equipment.
The Lyle Marsh Inclusive Playground Project will serve as a National Demonstration Site that will help align research-based best practices to create high-quality play and recreation environments. All selected projects will assist in data collection and outcomes sharing that will result in a publication of a white paper to be launched at the 2018 CPRS Conference. National Demonstration Sites promote advocacy at the community and state levels and collectively will provide resources that align with the mission and strategic plan of CPRS.