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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Groundbreaking for playground scheduled Tuesday
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Disability Resource Center
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Parks and Recreation Division
02/22/05 -Construction slated to begin for Knoxville's first Universally accessible playground
February 21, 2005 - Mayor Bill Haslam will host a celebration at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 22 to mark the beginning of construction for the Ashley Nicole Dream Playground, the City of Knoxville's first universally accessible playground.

The playground will be located at Caswell Park, across Winona Street from the ballpark, and is designed to be a place where children with and without disabilities will enjoy playing together.

The Mayor will present a $100,000 check to Ashley Nicole Manes, who suffered injuries in a 1999 automobile accident that left her paralyzed, and her family. The story of Ashley being unable to join her younger sister, Allison, on the playground inspired the need for a fully accessible playground.
Architect's Rendering - click here for larger image
Architects' Rendering of Ashley Nicole Dream Playground
Family and friends, working under the auspices of the Disability Resource Center, initiated the drive for the project, soliciting the support of the City of Knoxville, creating its design and raising some $90,000 in private donations.

Children from five East Tennessee counties offered ideas for the playground, which will include a special rubberized surface rather than mulch or gravel.

"This playground will serve as a place for parents and children to play and learn together no matter their disabilities," Mayor Haslam said. "I'm proud that the City partnered with this community-based effort to create this special place."
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