Faith’s Playground Narrative from Encompass Develop, Design & Construct

Source: Encompass Develop, Design & Construct

A big part of what we do at Encompass is to be problem solvers. We do this for not only our partners but we also search for opportunities to provide solutions to those who need it most.

When we heard Dawne Gee's broadcast call to help Faith, we knew it was simply the right thing to do.

The task was to provide an accessible playground specifically designed for a handicapped child who has no ability to walk. This play area also needs to be relocated if they are required to move from their rental property, which is easier said than done.

The underlying idea was to create an escape for Faith.

Though she has a contagious resolve of positivity and has an internal light no one can deny, some of the hardships she has faced have denied her of the simple notion that being a child should be about joy and frivolous play.

So, what better escape than sailing away to far off places, leaving the burdens of everyday trials and tribulations, discrimination, and the ever daunting tasks she must be faced with every day; which most of us take for granted.

The playground consists of 4 key components:

1) Ship and it's dock

2) Zip-line dinghy

3) Swing set

4) Modesty/ privacy wall

The ship is the vessel by which to charter new courses and let her imagination run.

The ground covering under all of this play area is proposed to be a recycled rubber mulch material, making it a safe and comfortable place to play, especially for someone who will be getting around on her hands…This serves as the “water” and creates the stage.

Its integral “dock” has an accessible ramp for wheelchair access, but as any playground, she can access it via climbing as well.

The vessel has several interactive components including a steering column, Tic- tic- toe, monkey bars, musical instruments, a telescope, cargo nets, a rock wall and slides.

Faith has helped to determine a fitting feminine pink, teal, blue and purple color scheme and it may also be themed with some popular ocean going animation characters. Let's just say that she's a fan of mermaids, sea sponges, crabs and starfish.

From the crow's nest, once Faith has spotted land she can take the zip-line dingy (a mock sailboat suspended on a zip-line), which she can control the forward or rearward motion via a pulley. This is a unique feature of this playground, but Faith deserves something as fantastic and unique as she is.

She can maneuver this craft ashore and “beach it” next to a more traditional looking swing set with integral sandbox, more cargo netting, specialty swing for her and an additional swing for her friends.

Lastly, there will be a partial property line barrier, which can also serve as a themed perimeter of her new play-space, and shall afford Faith a bit of privacy from the neighbors.

We hope that by providing Faith with this space, allows her to escape into the joy of being a child.

As members of the community, this is one of the best ways for anyone to show we care and are authentically missional.

Anyone who has the good fortune of meeting Faith and seeing her smile knows that she is extraordinary, and helps to bring out the best in each of us.

This project is something we are ever so proud of, and hope that something like this can be as impactful, if not more-so than other structures we create within a community.

In the short time we've known Faith, we have created an extraordinary relationship, and we feel blessed for having the opportunity to serve Faith and her family.