Groundbreaking planned for Owen's Playground in September

Stacy Marshall with her son, Owen. The groundbreaking for a playground named in Owen
Stacy Marshall with her son, Owen. The groundbreaking for a playground named in Owen's memory is planned for next month.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Marshall family

An all-inclusive playground at Rotary Park is well on its way.

The fundraising drive for Owen's Playground at Rotary Park has raised $45,000 of its $47,000-goal and contractors have been signed to begin moving earth next month.

"So we're going to be there real quick," said Dan Hamlin of the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation District.

The play place was approved by the district and dedicated in memory of Owen Marshall last February.

Owen was 6 years old when he passed away late last year after spending his life with quad-spastic cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment and epilepsy.

Since his passing, though, his life has served as an inspiration to bridge the gap between children of all abilities.

The playground will provide multi-sensory play where children can experience a spectrum of scents, textures, sounds and sights.

Owen's Playground will feature a sensory plant garden, a water and sand play area and adaptive play equipment like a swing that can safely secure children of all ages, with or without disabilities.

Since its dedication, fundraising has quickly progressed.

The playground is now just $2,000 shy of meeting its first funding goal, $47,000.

The target was set by the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island last spring when it agreed that once $47,000 was raised, the club would match the donations.

With more than 125 donors and the help of the Rotary club, Owen's Playground is nearly a third of the way to the $325,000 needed to complete the construction.

Organizers plan to break ground next month.

"We are looking at most of the construction ... happening next year, with some play elements being put in this year," Hamlin told the parks board at its last meeting.



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