PHOTO BY AILA BOYD Construction on the all-abilities playground beside the new YMCA in Daleville started on February 4.

Construction on the all-abilities playground commenced early last week. The playground, which is located next to the new YMCA in Daleville, is set to open in early April.

A formal ribbon cutting is planned at the time of the opening. To date, roughly $750,000 has been raised through donations and the Addy Grace Foundation, a non-profi t 501(c) (3), in order to make the playground a reality. According to James Garner, founder of the foundation, the project was first started back in December of 2017.

“This is a dream come true for me, my wife, and the Addy Grace Foundation,” Garner said in a press release. “Since our daughter was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Dystrophy, Jennifer and I have worked to help families with children with special needs and this playground is going to be a destination for many families not only from our valley, but from neighboring states.” The nearest all-abilities playground to Botetourt County is in Harrisonburg.

The idea fi rst came about after a trip the family took to Virginia Beach. While there, they came across an all-abilities playground and decided that one was needed closer to home. The 10,000-squarefoot playground will feature 63 pieces of equipment and play areas. It will be open to children and adults, regardless of ability. The playground will be open to the public during the operating hours of the YMCA; however, access to the playground will not be dependent upon membership status.