Pirnie Inclusive Playground Project Receives Significant Donation


The Greater Grand Island Community Foundation has presented a check for nearly $67,000 to the Central Community College Foundation. The funds are earmarked for the Pirnie Inclusive Playground, a $1.5 million multigenerational inclusive playground to be constructed at Ryder Park in Grand Island. The 27-thousand-square-foot facility was conceptualized by occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program students at CCC-Grand Island.

The donation is a discretionary grant from the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation. It is comprised of proceeds from the Arthur E. Klinkacek Community Enrichment Fund combined with gifts from the Dubas-Werner Family Fund, the Jim and Dee Price Donor Advised Fund, the Russ and Kim Rerucha Donor Advised Fund and an anonymous fund.

“The Greater Grand Island Community Foundation houses many funds that invest in the betterment of the Greater Grand Island area,” said Melissa DeLaet, Greater Grand Island Community Foundation CEO. “The opportunity to work with fund holders and our discretionary funds to better the quality of life for so many through the Pirnie Inclusive Playground is one we could not pass up, especially on National Philanthropy Day. Kudos to the CCC Foundation and the OTA students for taking the lead on a project that makes our community more welcoming to all who come to play.”

With this grant and gifts from multiple donors, the Pirnie Inclusive Playground project is at 75 percent of the project goal and is embarking on a community-wide effort to complete the fundraising by the end of 2022 to hold pricing on the equipment.

“We are grateful to partner with our friends at the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation,” said Traci Skalberg, CCC Foundation executive director. “All of this adds up to a remarkable investment in Grand Island, and we are very proud to support our OTA students’ desire to create this space for all abilities to learn, play and grow.”

The Pirnie Inclusive Playground will offer play experiences for three stages of development, including spaces designed specifically for children ages 2 to 5, 5 to 11 and 12 and older. Ziplines, sensory equipment, obstacle courses and inclusive entry equipment are just some of the playground features. Additionally, the City of Grand Island has approved a $1.25 million upgrade in infrastructure for Ryder Park that will add paved parking and accessible restrooms to the grounds. 



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