One of the most heartwarming things to arrive in Clinton County in the past several years has been Hannah’s Playground, an all-inclusive playground that has brought multiple ages together for joyful play.
Hannah’s Playground is named for Hannah Berndsen, the daughter of local residents who died in 2012. Hannah had cerebral palsy and like most little kids loved playing on swings and in playgrounds. But being in a wheelchair inhibited Hannah. While she had an adaptive swing in her own yard, she was unable to enjoy playing with other children in the city park.
Following her death, her parents coordinated with Unlimited Play, an organization founded by Natalie Blakemore—whose own son uses a wheelchair—to establish a local adaptive playground. With the help of many wonderful volunteers and after months of fundraising, Hannah’s Playground became a reality.
The playground not only accommodates children with disabilities, but parents and grandparents who might be in wheelchairs as well. The spongy surface is flat for easy mobility and there are low ramps for better access to equipment. Swings have adaptive seats with high backs. There are special Braille panels, textures and fragrances for the visually-impaired; and outdoor devices that make sounds like drums and marimbas. A safety fence surrounds the entire area, and sounds of children laughing and playing heartens all who pass.
1039-1099 N. Walnut Street, Breese, IL
Hannah’s Playground in a not only a wonderful inclusive playground, it’s a symbol of what a community can do when it works together.
That’s why we love living in Clinton County—and what makes it such a great place to visit!