Alcott Park Reopens, Additional Improvements Planned
A charitable foundation is donating funds that will help the Buffalo Grove Park District improve the north side of the playground.
The replacement of burned structures and the cushy surface have restored the playground to its original state. But improvements at the park will continue this spring, thanks in part a donation from a local foundation.
The Lexi Kazian Foundation — Helping From Heaven, whose mission includes helping to fund handicapped-accessible parks, initially reached out to Buffalo Grove with an offer to help finance the repairs at Alcott Park.
The $82,000 repairs were covered by the Buffalo Grove Park District’s insurance policy, but the foundation still wanted to contribute.
Foundation and park district officials decided to collaborate on the redevelopment of the north end of the park, which was unaffected by the fire. Designed for preschoolers, that portion of the park is not accessible for children with special needs.
The project, expected to cost about $60,000, will include removing the old equipment and woodchips and installing four new accessible apparatuses and a rubberized surface that makes the playground safer and more easily maneuverable in a wheelchair, or by those using a walker or crutches.
“We believe that every child, regardless of their physical abilities, should have the same opportunity to enjoy the playground as all the other children. That’s why we’re so excited to be able to help fund the development of this thoughtfully designed park in Buffalo Grove. Additionally, I was raised in Buffalo Grove and hold many wonderful childhood memories sliding and climbing in parks right in these neighborhoods,” Kristy Kazian, co-president of Helping From Heaven, said in a statement.
“We loved bringing our daughter, Lexi, to the park,” she added. “It was cherished family time for us and a welcome break from the daily therapy schedules.”
Helping From Heaven received a $17,500 donation from a family foundation, which asked to remain anonymous, toward the Alcott Park project.
The Lexi Kazian Foundation will present its donation tonight (Monday) to park district commissioners at their 7 p.m. board meeting.
“More than half of the project is being paid by our capital project fund, but we wouldn’t be doing it if [the foundation] weren’t involved,” Buffalo Grove Park District spokesman Mike Terson said.
The unnamed family foundation has also offered to match community donations totaling up to $7,500 for the park renovation.
Anyone interested in making a donation can call Helping From Heaven representative Jim Greco at 847-624-5394.
The redevelopment is expected to begin in June. The park district will likely hold a grand re-opening celebration for both parts of the playground at the end of July, Terson said.
For more information about The Lexi Kazian Foundation — Helping From Heaven, visit helpingfromheaven.org.