Friendship Hill to Celebrate 1,000 Days of Play
10 May 2022
Friendship Hill Inclusive Playground will be celebrating its 1,000th Day of Inclusive Play on Saturday, May 21, 2022! The event is free and open to the public and will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the playground located at 410 S. Carroll Street in Wabash. Nick's Dog Cart will be onsite providing free hotdogs to the community while supplies last thanks to a generous donation from Wabash Elks Lodge #471.
Friendship Hill, one of the largest inclusive playgrounds in the Midwest, began with the vision of Wabash County resident, Shelly Myers, who had the dream of creating a playground where children of all abilities and ages could play together. Fortunately, then Mayor Bob Vanlandingham and then Parks Superintendent Todd Titus supported the idea, a committee was formed, and fundraising for the playground began in 2016.
With the help and support of the Community Foundation of Wabash County, Grow Wabash County, the City of Wabash, Mayor Scott Long, Parks Superintendent Adam Hall, the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Patronicity.com, and the community at large, by the end of 2018 funds raised exceeded the $1.6million needed to build Friendship Hill.
The dream of inclusive play in Wabash County became a reality when the playground opened in August 2019.
In reflecting on the project and its creation, Shelly Myers says, "Friendship Hill received its very first donation in May of 2016 and for the next three years our committee worked to share the importance of inclusive play. Our vision was that Friendship Hill would be more than a playground, that it would allow people of all ages and abilities to play together while "fostering friendships, making memories, and changing lives" in our community.
Now, at nearly one thousand days since its grand opening in 2019, countless families have visited the playground, countless friendships and memories have been made, and lives have most definitely been changed for those in and around our community. We are taking the opportunity on this 1,000th day of play to celebrate the impact that inclusive play has had on so many people in and around Wabash County!"
In addition to celebrating 1,000 days of inclusive play, this public event will kick-off the opportunity for donors to purchase a line of text or a full tile on the beautiful kinetic donor wall at the playground, designed and built by Schlemmer Brothers.
Myers commented that “people from the community have asked if there would ever be a chance to add more names to the donor wall, so we are answering that call now and donations will be accepted throughout the summer of 2022.”
All funds raised during this time will help to support increased safety and security of the playground as well as the up-keep and maintenance of playground and its equipment through the playground's endowment at the Community Foundation. Donations of $100-$749 will receive one line of text on a donor wall tile, and donations of $750 or more will receive a full tile. Full tiles can include text or logos.
Donations can be made through the Community Foundation of Wabash County. We invite all members of the community to make donations of any amount online at cfwabash.org or by check, made out to the Community Foundation of Wabash County, with “Friendship Hill 1,000 Day Celebration” in the memo line, and mailed to 220 East Main Street, North Manchester. Donor recognition forms and more information about the event can also be found on the Community Foundation website by searching “Friendship Hill Playground” in the search box at the top of the screen.