Crowdfunding campaign launched for universally accessible playscape in downtown New Baltimore

What’s happening: New Baltimore is planning a new universally accessible playscape for its Walter and Mary Burke Park and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is helping the waterfront community raise the funds to get there. The MEDC has entered the project into its Public Spaces Community Places program, a statewide placemaking initiative that helps raise funds for such projects of impact.

What it is: The Burke Park Universally Accessible Playscape will feature play features accessible for children of all abilities, including ADA-compliant surfaces and ramps for children in wheelchairs, an accessible merry-go-round play feature that allows for fully integrated play, and the Cozy Dome from Michigan-based contractor Penchura, which, according to the project website, is a “play element that is specifically designed for reducing sensory and auditory stimuli, giving children a place to rest and recoup if they become overstimulated.”

A rendering of the planned playscape in New Baltimore.
How it’s happening: As part of the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program, the Burke Park playscape project has until Thursday, April 14, to raise $50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign via the Michigan-based Patronicity platform. If they prove successful in their campaign, the MEDC will contribute an additional $50,000 matching grant.

What they’re saying: “I, along with the Parks and Recreation Department and the entire city administration, am elated to add this new universally accessible playscape to our downtown Walter and Mary Burke Park,” says New Baltimore Mayor Thomas Semaan. “We are grateful for the opportunity to improve our park amenities and provide outstanding recreational opportunities for all of our residents, especially those not previously served. This is not only great news for New Baltimore but our surrounding communities as well, whose residents will surely be impacted positively by this accessible playscape.”

How you can help: Visit for more information on the crowdfunding campaign.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.