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Big Dreams Playground Inching Closer To Reality

Tuolumne, CA — Supporters planning to build a universally accessible playground in Tuolumne are getting closer to their fund-raising goal.

A plan has been in the works for just over five years to build a playground in the county that is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. For example, many traditional playgrounds with either a bark or sand surface can be nearly impossible for people in wheelchairs or walkers to access. Universally accessible playgrounds also have aspects designed specifically for children with conditions such as blindness or autism.

Local resident Sarah Garcia, whose daughter Ruby was the original inspiration for the project, says fundraising has really picked up over the past year and a half. She adds, “We are about two-thirds of the way to our fundraising goal, and we’ve raised over $200,000 dollars.”

The donations range from cash, to pledges for supplies and materials. Garcia notes that several local contractors have volunteered equipment and labor.

Columbia based Blue Mountain Minerals is donating all of the rock and gravel needed for the project, which is valued over $20,000.

The current park that sits outside the Tuolumne Memorial Hall will eventually be replaced by the universally accessible playground. Once construction concludes, the county will take over the maintenance.

The project still needs over $100,000 to move forward, as you can see from the pie chart in the image box.

This coming weekend supporters will put on the 5th Annual “Starry Night Dinner In White” fundraiser. It will be held at a surprise location to be announced the day of the event, Saturday, September 9. Garcia says it will be in the greater Sonora area, and the ticket price includes dinner. Also of note, if the amount raised at the event goes beyond $20,000, the funding will be matched by the Sonora Area Foundation, up to $5,000. For example, if $21,000 is raised, the foundation will be donate $1,000.

Tickets can be purchased through Tuesday, September 5 at Mountain Bookshop in the Junction Shopping Center. Tickets are also being be sold online through Wednesday, September 6. Click here to find additional information.

By clicking on the image box you can also view the latest artist rendering of the playground. By clicking on the video box, you learn more of the story behind the project.