The Lincoln Enrichment Center Playground
Play is a very important part of childhood and there are many developmental benefits to playgrounds including opportunities for kids of all ages to develop motor skills and social, creative and teamwork skills; getting Vitamin D which helps to prevent bone problems, diabetes, and even heart disease among children; being an outlet for stress relief to clear minds; and providing opportunities to explore and improve attention spans.
A community center without a playground is difficult to imagine. However, the Lincoln Enrichment Center did not have a playground. After much research and meetings with parents, children, volunteers, and community members, we selected Children Specialties to design a playground for the center. Our primary goal for this playground is to be able to safely serve well over 100 students a day. We wanted the playground area to not only be fun and beneficial for the children, but for family members of all ages, a site for healthy socialization, and an excellent place to develop community pride. After several months and meetings, the playground was designed and presented to the Board of Directors.
Spearheaded by then President John W. Jones, fundraising was undertaken in Fall 2018. Presentations were made to many individuals, business owners, community organizations, and faith-based organizations. In addition to many generous private donors, the Rotary Club of Wagoner, Lake Region Electric Cooperative, and the Cherokee Nation provided grants to fund the playground construction. Brighter Futures students also assisted in the fundraising by participating in the Wagoner Farmer’s Market and other events selling refreshments and handmade jewelry to raise funds for the playground.
The playground was installed in March of 2020. Along with our ever-expanding Lincoln Learning Garden, the playground serves as more than a meeting and gathering place; it is a prominent and visible beacon of growth for a community that desperately needs a sense of hope for a better and brighter future.