Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders
92 Market Street. Salem, N.J. 08079

Contact: Rita Shade Simpson, Clerk of the Board/Administrator

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March 8, 2002


SALEM Eight newly-designed playgrounds for children of all abilities throughout Salem County are scheduled to open within the next two weeks, Freeholder Sue Bestwick announced today. A ninth handicapped accessible playground will open in June.

"The wonderful aspect of these playgrounds is that the equipment is accessible to all children. There is no need segregate equipment only for those who are physically challenged. There will be no more frowns. All children can play together," said Bestwick, who guided the project to completion.

The project was totally funded through a state grant and required no municipal or county funds. Costs were offset through volunteer labor. The County acted as the contract manager.

"Work began in January and is running ahead of schedule. We are awaiting a final inspection by the manufacturers of the playground equipment, said Bestwick.

Sites selected for the playgrounds were either existing sites that were stripped of their playground equipment, or new sites built on municipal park property.

The playground parks are located at Elmer and Quinton elementary schools, and on municipal park property in Carneys Point, Pennsville, Pittsgrove, Salem, and Upper Pittsgrove.

The Carneys Point playground will not be ready until June, as it is awaiting a specialized surfacing product.

The playgrounds were funded through a $550,000 special legislative grant for Handicapped Accessible Playground Development in Salem County that was secured by former Speaker of the House Jack Collins.

A Playground Planning Group, comprised of interested citizens and municipal representatives, served as an advisory board and was chaired by Freeholder Bestwick.

The playgrounds will be operated and maintained by each municipality through their annual operating budget.

Buzz Burger, Inc., was awarded the contract for site excavation, surface preparation, and equipment installation.

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