Grant turns club’s vision of inclusive playground into reality

Apr 05, 2019

Whispering Woods play equipment from Landscape StructuresLinda-Ann Heldt and her fellow members of the Shelby Golden K Kiwanis Cub had a vision of creating an inclusive playground for children, something that was lacking in their community. And they had the perfect place to put it: the 49-acre Whispering Woods Kiwanis Park in Shelby Township, Michigan.

“We want all kids of abilities to be able to play together,” said 
Heldt, the club president.

The club created the Kids At Play project in 2017 with the goal of raising awareness and changing the world for children with special needs. In January, the club received a $20,000 grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund to help their dream become a reality.

construction will include two pieces of playground equipment from Kiwanis partner Landscape Structures will be installed: the wheelchair accessible Sway Fun Glider and the Global Motion rotating climbing structure. These pieces were designed to be fun and safe for children of all abilities.

The playground will also have a rubberized surface, which is much easier for children in wheelchairs to maneuver across than mulch, gravel or sand. 

Long-term goals are to add more pieces is to add more pieces, such as the Rhapsody Outdoor Musical Instruments and Pulse Table Tennis, a wheel-chair accessible 
multi-sensory game.  The club hopes to break ground on the playground in early summer and have it completed by October, when the Kiwanians will host a Trunk or Treat event. 

Whispering Woods Park also has nine soccer fields, a baseball field, volleyball and basketball courts, picnic shelters and walking and jogging paths.

The Kiwanis club continues to raise money for the playground and is working with the Shelby Community Foundation. Donations can be made at