Jon Wren, a community advocate and 21-year Dynetics employee, shared his passion for a particular project to the Dynetics Donations Committee. In 2014, his daughter Abby Reese was diagnosed with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. "Having a child with a disability has given my wife and I plenty of experience with playgrounds that are not viable for kids who are what I like to call "gloriously unique," said Wren. After a recent visit to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Jon was able to take Abby to a universal playground in the Nashville area. "Her face at the universal playground was, in a word, priceless," Wren said.
Now, Dynetics has donated $10,000 to the Cove Universal Playground, a playground that allows children with mobility, cognitive and other impairments to easily play and engage with their peers, building relationships with each other and between their caregivers. This project is a part of the GrowCove civic organization, as well as City of Huntsville Park and Recreation and Operation Green Team Foundation. The team was on hand at the Huntsville City Council meeting on Thursday, January 23 to present the gift.
"Dynetics Does, our community outreach initiative, allows us to build partnerships with organizations and invest in our communities, improving the quality of life for our employees and their families. It's important our employees have a voice in which causes and organizations we support," said Whitney Schmitt, Dynetics Community Relations Specialist.
The 15,000 square foot playground will provide poured-in place surfacing, allowing for ease of mobility, strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, etc. It will be built with special colors and learning tools and will be fenced in and shaded if children become overwhelmed. The playground's construction will begin in the spring of 2020. "It's a beautiful sight and we are elated to have something like this coming to our beautiful city," said Wren.
This will be the second universal playground in Alabama and the first in Huntsville and the surrounding areas.