SHEBOYGAN, Wisc. — Downtown Sheboygan is set to have its very first playground — and it's a unique one.
The Above & Beyond Children's Museum is working on it's biggest project to date, a fully accessible public outdoor playground, located on the museum's green space. The Purple Octopus Playground will be open and accessible to children of all backgrounds and abilities.
The underwater themed play structure was designed by MONSTRUM of Denmark, and is based on the Museum's mural, The Happiness Project, which depicts a parent and child whale on the North wall of the building. Once the playground is complete, you can expect to see an ADA-accessible wheelchair transfer platform, ground level accessible equipment and a nest swing set.
"Not just your standard playground, the museum strived to bring something wholly unique, beautiful and fun to enhance the outdoor area with an artful play space," says Tim Saeger, board president of Above & Beyond Children's Museum. "MONSTRUM creates artistic and structurally sound play structures focused on child development and accessibility for children of all abilities. The play structure is as visually magnificent as it is exciting to play on."
The playground equipment should be installed starting this spring. Leaders with the museum say they're waiting for the weather to warm up. Once construction and excavation are complete, crews will begin pouring a rubber surfacing and completing landscaping.
"This playground project , seven years in the making, has had support from many hands, legs and tentacles," says Jackie Erdman, executive director of the Museum.
Funding for the playground was provided by community members, corporations and foundations. The museum hosted a Pick-a-Picket project, where donors could purchase an engraved fence picket to support playground construction.
"Play is essential to childhood growth, it is a powerful healing component, and having a public, ADA-accessible playground in the heart of downtown Sheboygan guarantees all children and visitors have a safe space to play and grow, no matter their socio-economic status or abilities," says Erdman.