With fundraising for the $5.7 million Waukee Miracle Park project at the three-quarter mark, the members of the Waukee Betterment Foundation visited Tuesday’s meeting of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors to brief them on the project’s progress and seek the county’s support.
The Waukee Betterment Foundation also announced a premiere event — including an IMAX video Epic Playground reveal — planned for Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Palms Theaters at 200 N.E. Westgate Dr. in Waukee. The event is free and open to the public.
remaining $1.4 million
Construction is planned to begin this year on the Miracle Park project, which is funded through a combination of grants and donations from corporations and individuals. It is a joint project between the Waukee Betterment Foundation, the city of Waukee and the Waukee Community School District.
The Waukee Betterment Foundation, a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent for the project, is leading the fundraising campaign. Once completed, maintenance of the Miracle Park will be financed and managed by the Waukee Parks Department. Completion is planned for 2022.
The Miracle Park will lie north of the new high school on N. 10th Street and will include an ADA-compliant fishing pier, an all-access Epic Playground and the Waukee Miracle League ball field. All three facilities will be supported by ADA-compliant restrooms, parking and trails.
The Waukee Betterment Foundation told the supervisors that providing these facilities to an underserved population promotes recreation, improves public health, provides cultural enrichment and drives economic development in the Waukee area.
According to the Heartland Area Education Agency, there are more than 1,200 children in level 2 or level 3 special needs within the school districts surrounding the Waukee site. These children match the profile of the typical Miracle League user, needing assistance with mobility or cognitive skills.
The Miracle League fields will operate at a capacity of roughly 250 children in leagues. The response to the project from area school districts has been enthusiastic because they do not have such facilities readily available.
A child with special needs does not outgrow those needs. LINK Associates and Mosaic of Central Iowa, service providers for special-needs adults, support the Miracle Park initiative and look forward to offering leagues for the adults in the community.
Senior living centers are similarly interested in offering outings to their residents, with particular interest in accessing to the fishing pier, which is perfectly suited to their residents.
The Veterans Administration has identified a significant veteran population living in the area who would also enjoy access to the facilities. This is especially enhanced by the restrooms and parking.
Thursday’s event at the Palms Theaters at 200 N.E. Westgate Dr. will begin at 4 p.m. with a social mix, followed at 4:30 p.m. by a screening of the IMAX video of the Epic Playground plans.