The Sensory Garden Playground Inspired Me!

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In the summer of 2011 I received an invitation to attend a meeting about a new project. I was hesitant because the summer is a busy time for events and I was not sure I could devote the time that was needed for a new project. However, I am grateful I attended as the next eight years were incredibly eye opening and rewarding.

I currently serve on the Play for All Playground & Garden Foundation Board in support of the Sensory Garden Playground project, alongside many others who are as committed as I am to building a barrier-free and accessible playground. In the first few years of planning, we spent countless hours working with Landscape Structures and Shane’s Inspiration to design a playground for all. Yes, a playground for all kids, with or without any unique physical or sensory needs. We gave presentations, wrote grants, met with corporate donors, held fundraisers; and in 2015, we celebrated the opening of the 2-to-5 year-old playground. That phase included a sound garden, a fragrance garden and a central gathering place. In 2017 and 2018 we saw several of our Art Along the Way sculptures installed. Now, in 2019, we are getting ready to start the next phase, which will include an accessible tree house.

As a mom of two girls, I spent a great deal of time at our local playground. I am now the grandmother of a 3-year-old boy named Jameson. As I have watched him interact with other children, I am reminded how important playgrounds are for developing social skills. I was introduced into the world of sensory processing disorders through this project and was overwhelmed at the lack of inclusive play spaces. The Sensory Garden Playground has helped break down barriers and allows children to play alongside one another.

I am so proud and appreciative of our board, committee members, volunteers and our generous donors. I feel that if we have made a difference in just one child’s life, then I know that was the best meeting invite I’ve ever accepted.

Margie and grandson sitting in the playground

Photo: Margie Wilhelmi with grandson, Jameson.

Mission

The Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation’s mission is to create barrier-free and universally accessible outdoor play spaces and gardens in DuPage County. Through the cognitive, social, and physical values of play, the Foundation will promote a spirit of inclusion and enhance quality of life, as well as support involvement in recreation and wellness activities for all people and abilities.

Tree House Good News!

Preliminary work has begun, and tree house construction will take place over the summer, as weather allows. The tree house will feature elevated board walks, treetop views, slides and interactive elements that will create a spectacular experience for users of all abilities.

We are continuing to fundraise for additional tree house elements such as the gravity rail, net climber, roller slide and amphitheater. We designed the tree house in a way that these elements can be added as fundraising allows. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation toward these additional elements [by returning the enclosed donor envelope or] through online donation.

We greatly appreciate your patience and continued support for the project.

If you have any questions, please contact Rob Sperl at rsperl@wheatonparks.org.

Site plan rendering for the Play for All Tree House

Get Involved

There’s lots of ways to be a part of the progress at the Sensory Garden Playground.

Donate Money, Time, Products or Services | Volunteer | Host a Fundraiser

At Aspen Lane Wine Company, they will host a party for you and your friends and donate all of the proceeds to the Sensory Garden Playground. To schedule a party, contact Carey Moreland at cmoreland@wheatonparks.org.

Aspen Lane Wine Company logo

Your donation helps to add these exciting elements to the tree house!

Tube slide example

TUBE SLIDES | $25,000 ($12,500 each)

roller slide example

ROLLER SLIDE | $15,000

group deck spinner shown with children playing

GROUP DECK SPINNER | $25,000

vertical netting playground equipment with children playing

VERTICAL NETTING | $25,000

gravity rail equipment photo with side-by-side rendering

GRAVITY RAIL | $55,000

two amphitheater images shown side-by-side

AMPHITHEATER | $32,000

MATERIAL DONATIONS

Financial and in-kind donations are also being sought for building materials such as lumber, fencing and ground surfacing.
For more information, contact:
Margie Wilhelmi
630.510.4984
mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

Look for us at the annual Veggie Fest at Danada South Park on August 10 & 11

Celebrating its 13th year, Veggie Fest is one of the largest vegetarian food and wellness festivals in North America. This year Veggie Fest will be supporting and raising funds for the Sensory Garden Playground. The festival will be held next door on the playing fields of Danada South Park at Navistar Circle, Lisle, IL 60532. The festival is open from 11A to 8P. Free parking will be available at Navistar.

In 2018, more than 45,000 people attended the two-day free festival enjoying its famous international food court, live music from some of the best bands in Chicago, vegetarian food demonstrations from chefs around the country, expert speakers from doctors and educators from around the world, a wonderful interactive children’s tent, a yoga tent and more than 100 vendors on healthy living, this family-oriented festival has something for everyone.

Sponsored by the Science of Spirituality International Meditation Center, Veggie Fest is a non-profit festival supported by 1,000 volunteers from more than 20 countries around the world.

veggie fest 2019 logo

Get Your Play On!

All-Inclusive Play at our Annual Play Days

Every third Saturday this summer from 10A to Noon

Every Play Day includes face painting, free play and a Teddy Bear Check-Up by DuPage Medical Group. Plus on each day, we have invited some fun guests that will provide additional activities listed below.

Three More Play Days to Come! 10A-Noon
No registration required.

June 15 Wheaton Library Sensory Storytime
July 20 Canine Demonstration by Canine Companions for Independence from (10-11A) and goodie bags for the first 100 families by Kidlist.
August 17 DuPage County Historical Museum will provide Old School Children’s Games plus the first 50 families will receive a goodie bag from Keller Williams and Neighborhood Loans.

Sponsored by:

DuPage Medical Group logo
Culligan Water of Wheaton logo
Little kid playing in the sound garden with his mother
young girl playing in the sound garden with her father

Photos courtesy of Kmiecik Imagery

What We’ve Been Up To

Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast

Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast served hundreds of delicious pancakes in March. Thank you Kiwanis for being a founding partners for the Sensory Garden Playground

Fun Run In Color

More than 900 people came out to Memorial Park for a morning filled with blue, yellow, pink and orange color. The Wheaton Park District hosts
the event in partnership with the Wheaton Rotary AM Club who donates a portion of the event proceeds to the Sensory Garden Playground.

Thank you Kevin Lavin and Homer Tree Services for your generous donation of mulch material for the tree house project.

Wheaton Park district employees standing behind a table

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