The opening of Friendship Park in June 2023 marks a significant milestone for the community, as it introduces a playground that embraces inclusivity and accessibility. This park has been carefully designed to accommodate individuals of all abilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the play features and facilities it offers.
One of the notable attractions at Friendship Park is the zip line, which includes both disc and molded bucket seats, allowing children and adults to experience the zip line that suits their comfort level. Additionally, a sensory wall has been incorporated into the playground, providing a multisensory experience that engages individuals with various sensory needs. The park also features a variety of swings, including full bucket swings and molded support swings equipped with a pull-over harness for added safety and support.
To further enhance accessibility, Friendship Park includes a ground level merry-go-round that is wheelchair and stroller accessible. This feature ensures that individuals using wheelchairs or strollers can actively participate in the park’s activities alongside their peers. Additionally, there are slides and climbing features designed to be accessible to individuals of different abilities.
The creation of Friendship Park was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Friendship Park Committee, a diverse group of parents and children with special needs, healthcare providers, local business leaders, and governmental staff. This committee played a crucial role in ensuring that the park’s design and features met the needs of the community.
Funding for the project was obtained through various sources. The City of Dickinson, Stark County, and Dickinson Parks & Recreation all contributed to the fundraising efforts along with individual and business donations playing a significant role in financing the park’s construction. Furthermore, the project received support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a grant program administered by the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department, which provided a 50/50 matching grant.
Overall, Friendship Park represents a remarkable achievement in creating an inclusive and accessible playground for the community. It serves as a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication of the Friendship Park Committee and the generosity of the community as a whole.