Friends of Hargan-Matthews Park, a project by Madison Youth Unlimited, a non-profit corporation under section 501(C)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, is a grass roots campaign, led by volunteers to upgrade and renovate a local park in Madison, Indiana.
On September 29th, 2015 the project received a $50,000 matching grant from our local Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County.
Madison is a city of approximately 13,000 people. We are lucky to have many parks, 22 to be exact, but there is not one park that meets the needs of all residents. Currently, this park consists of a small play structure for ages 0-5, a baby swing and a traditional swing. We envision an all-inclusive play structure that would be a gathering place for children of all abilities, their family, friends and grandparents. There is currently no public park in Madison with a fence, a soft surface or a play structure that is truly inclusive to children of all abilities, especially those who depend on a wheel chair.
We envision a soft, poured surface, with a riverboat-themed structure for ages 5-12. We would like to have a black aluminum fence with brick pillars, matching a park across the street, along with the riverfront that surrounds the park. There are also new bathrooms attached to the park across the street, which also is why this park is a great choice for an upgrade. There is access to a newly constructed park down the street for ages 0-5, a newly constructed bridge containing a pedestrian sidewalk and a trail that connects the downtown to the uptown. We hope to have non-movable picnic tables, trash and recycling. We also plan to have a wheel chair swing or equipment that can accommodate a wheel chair. We would like to have several more swings including baby swings, traditional swings and handicap accessible swings.
Madison is a very historic, rivertown where the past and preservation are very important. It is our hope that this park will be a showpiece that will meet many needs, but also play into the history and branding of the City.
This playground will be a place for every child, despite their social-economic status or ability, to come and play. There are a lot of children in our community with physical disabilities that currently do not have a playground that accommodates them. We also have a large percentage of our population that fall at or below the poverty line. We feel this will be an escape where they can come and be stimulated to learn by play.
This playground will truly be a safe, unique place for ALL children to come, meet and play. It will be a gathering place for parents, grandparents and friends to come appreciate our community and all it has to offer.