Volume 1, Issue 3                                                                                                                               November, 2015
Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority Makes $250,000 Grant for Playground

Architect's rendering

     The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) has awarded UPWARD their maximum grant of $250,000 to construct and equip the new playground. The biennial grants are awarded throughout the County to organizations for a wide variety of sporting and physical activity experiences. UPWARD Plays! is part of the total $5.325 million campus and program expansion project. UPWARD has plans to incorporate a shaded playground able to accommodate children with mild to severe disabilities and will include adaptive equipment and an ADA accessible surface as well as paved paths to ride traditional and adaptive bikes or enjoy in a wheelchair.
     For many children with severe disabilities, like those UPWARD serves, the playground will provide their only opportunity to engage in outdoor play and one of the few opportunities they have to exercise.  UPWARD's new playground will allow children of all abilities to enjoy fresh air, mobility, and interactive play.

Construction Update

The Lifting Children Upward campaign cabinet had the opportunity to take a hard hat tour of the first phase, the west building and see samples of exterior and interior finishes. They noted in particular the wide hallways and use of natural light. The staff is excited to have an indoor laundry room as the current washer and dryer are on a patio. This building will be finished in December. 
Fundraising Update

UPWARD's $5.325 million effort to fund the expansion has $1.7 million in secured and anticipated pledges. The campaign cabinet is actively introducing people to the organization, its mission and the project. Community briefings and tours of the campus are generating interest and support. UPWARD will be applying for two significant grants after the first of the year, but there is still much work to be done to reach our goal.

The new playground will have an ADA accessible play surface and adaptive play equipment for children with disabilities. A big change over the current area.