A Leadership Hancock County team is hoping to raise $12,000 this spring to help purchase this type of sensory wall for children to be installed at the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association Park, 1414 W. McClarnon Dr., behind Greenfield-Central Junior High School. Photo provided
A Leadership Hancock County team is hoping to raise $12,000 this spring to help purchase this type of sensory wall for children to be installed at the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association Park, 1414 W. McClarnon Dr., behind Greenfield-Central Junior High School. Photo provided
GREENFIELD — A Leadership Hancock County team is trying to raise funds so it can install a sensory wall addition to the inclusive playground located at the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association Park, 1414 W. McClarnon Dr., behind Greenfield-Central Junior High School.

Brandy Mills and team members Crystal Wiley, Jannel Wilhelm, Brandon Badger and Shaun Childress are part of this year’s Leadership Hancock County class. They’re one of four groups doing a community-based project this spring.

The Mills’ team is trying to raise $12,000 for the project with the help of a Patronicity matching grant. Patronicity empowers local place-making projects through crowdfunding, access to matching grants and hands-on project coaching.

“If we can raise the $12,000 by the end date (June 6), the grant will match and put in the other $12,000 needed for completion,” Mills said. “This is an all-or-nothing grant, so every little bit helps.”

This new sensory equipment will be fully accessible and will provide engaging and relaxing activities for all visiting children. The playground is part of a 27-acre youth baseball complex in Greenfield, and the project includes two to three sensory wall units over approximately 300 square feet. The walls will continue an existing landscape and encourage further enhancements such as sun shade and seating, officials said.

While there are many great community projects the team could have selected to support, they settled on raising funds for the sensory wall project . The idea came from Badger who works for the City of Greenfield.

“He knew of the park and knew that the city would eventually want to build on to the playground,” Mills said.

The team is working in connection with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to help generate the funds for the project.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the IHCDA officially launched the crowdfunding campaign for the sensory wall in Greenfield on Wednesday.

Greenfield will soon have more space for accessible play if the crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal of raising $12,000 by Monday, June 6, officials with the project said. If successful, the project led by the City of Greenfield will receive a matching grant as part of IHCDA’s CreatINg Places program.

“IHCDA and I are excited to partner with the City of Greenfield to bring an inclusive space for children to safely play,” Crouch said in a press release. “CreatINg Places continues to bring inclusive equipment to communities across the state, and we look forward to helping make Greenfield more accessible for kids of all ages and abilities.”

Funds from this campaign will be used to add an accessible sensory wall to the city’s recently developed inclusive playground, expand the play space and offer younger children and those with special needs a place to play and explore.

“The new sensory equipment will be a unique place where kids of all abilities can go for improved focus, socialization, calming effects and creativity,” Mills said.

The CreatINg Places program began in 2016. Projects have raised more than $6.1 million in public funds and an additional $4.9 million in matching IHCDA funds.

The program is available to projects located in Indiana communities. Non-profit entities (with 501c3 or 501c4 status) and Local Units of Government are eligible to apply.

Eligible projects must have a minimum total development cost of $10,000, where the recipient will receive $5,000 in IHCDA matching funds should it successfully raise $5,000 through Patronicity. IHCDA will provide matching grant funds up to $50,000 per project.
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