One of my major goals in this first term as mayor has been to increase accessibility for all who live in or visit the City of Charlestown. We started with some relatively easy enhancements like adding parking spaces for wheelchair ramp loading/unloading, offering parents and caregivers of children with Autism a means of designating their streets as areas of caution for drivers and first responders, increasing our outreach to disabled veterans and their caregivers, and adding communication boards to our office and police vehicles in case we encounter people who are non-verbal or who do not speak English.
Our next project is much larger. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana we are converting the playground at Greenway Park into an accessible play space. Many factors impacted the decision to begin with Greenway Park. The playground equipment at Greenway is the oldest in the city park system and is in great need of replacement. Rather than replace with the same equipment, we look at Greenway as a starting point for replacing with improvement. The new playground will include a solid play surface floor instead of mulch, a ramp to access the slide, a revolution inclusive spinner, and a sensory area/panel in addition to traditional climbing features, a fence for safety, and solar lighting. Greenway Park is also located in a central area of the city where we host many events throughout the year. We wanted all of our visitors to be able to access and use the playground area during our events such as Founders Day, Community Days, Easter egg hunts, and Halloween Trail & Treat. We have plans to offer additional enhancements to the park including upgrading our bathroom facilities and improved parking.
This park is only the beginning of the enhancements we can offer to improve accessibility in our city. For this reason I've announced the creation of a Disability Advisory Council. This citizen-led group will help inform policy and design so that Charlestown can truly become the most welcoming city in Clark County. The group will consist of disability resource providers, caretakers, and people living with disabilities. They will meet regularly to identify areas of need around the city and inform development and programming decisions.
My commitment to keeping Charlestown First remains as strong now as it did when I first asked to serve as your mayor. Helping all of our residents and visitors enjoy our city is part of that goal. If you notice an area of town that would benefit from accessibility improvement or have a programming idea to share, please visit the city's webpage and complete the feedback form here:
Full design plan for Greenway Glow Up Accessible Playground:
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