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Mission Field Park to provide fun for all children, families

Many of us can remember the fear and anxiety experienced waiting to get picked for a sport or activity in school. But some children weren’t even able to stand in the line to get picked due to some kind of physical or mental disability, Ken Mullen noted. That is something Mission Field Park, a project of City of Refuge Foundation (CRF), hopes to address by creating a playground where all children can participate and have fun.

Mission Field Park, located across from Englewood Baptist Church on Winstead Ave in Rocky Mount, will be a 24,000 square foot playground designed to be fully inclusive and accessible to those who have hearing, sensory, physical, or mental disabilities. “There is nothing in our area that is designed to be inclusive and accessible,” said Mullen, Executive Director of CRF.

Phase 1 of the project, which includes streets, water and sewer, and sidewalks, is expected to be finished this week. Phase 2 will be the playground itself. This phase is just getting started, but CRF will need to raise $1.5–2 million to complete it.

Phase 3 in the long-term plan includes the Miracle League Baseball Field. That will be another $1.5–2 million fundraising campaign.

Individuals with different expertise and from various professions spoke into the project, including occupational therapists, directors of special needs homes, engineers, and city inspectors. All of it is designed so that children can go up to whatever they want to play and access it themselves.

So far the funding has come from individual donations and through foundations along with some state funding.

City of Refuge Foundation was started through Englewood Baptist Church with the mission of “creating a Christ-centered community of caring that ministers to the spiritual, physical, educational, emotional, or rehabilitative needs of individuals and families.”

The desire was to provide something for an underserved population in the area: those with some kind of physical or mental disability.

Mission Field Park will be one of the largest playgrounds in our area once completed. They are already planning for maintenance since this is not a city-funded park.

Members of our community can support Mission Field’s vision by donating, helping to build relationships throughout the community, or inviting them to speak at community events.

If you are interested in learning more about City of Refuge Foundation or Mission Park, visit their website. If you would like to support their work, you can give online here.

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