The Sheboygan Park Project’s mission is to create a playground in Sheboygan County that will be 100% accessible to all people.

We will create an environment to allow each child, regardless of ability, to interact in unorganized play alongside their peers.

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The dream for the playground has been inspired by the formerly conjoined twins, Mateo and McHale Shaw. The twins were born conjoined at their lower backs, spines and buttox’s and had a mere 5% chance at only 1 surviving with a dim prognosis at quality of life.

Mateo and McHale defied the odds, both survived and are full of life! In Sept 2006, the twins endured a 19 hr surgical seperation surgery, giving them a chance at living a life independent of each other. The surgery was a success! The twins have lifetime disability of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus along with some other medical issues, but they are full of life, love and happiness!

Both boys currently use wheelchairs, one uses a walker as well. Our eyes have been opened up  to another world we did not know existed. We quickly learned the challenges of living with a disability. There is a large need in our community and we wanted to help. A playground that would encourage family and friends to come together would be the perfect project to give back to a community that supported our family during one of our most difficult times.

Sheboygan Co. currently does not have a playground that is 100% accessible. The last U.S census that was done was in 2016, at that time Sheboygan Co. had over 16,934 disabled people over the age of 5. Children ages 5 and under are not included in that figure.

Mateo and McHale have inspired a playground that will have no barriers, regardless of ability. The design will provide accessibility for any child, parent, grandparent or guardian despite physical limitations. The playground will allow children to play together side by side, and through imaginative play children will foster learning and strengthen their physical skills.

The design of the playground was created from the imagination of the children in the Sheboygan Area School District, and through their eyes, Gerber Leisure Products, Inc. will bring our community playground to life. Gerber Leisure Products, Inc. based out of Mt. Horeb, WI, is a leader in accessible play structures and designed our first draft on Design Day, involving community input. The play structure will be a fun filled place everyone can enjoy, while ensuring the entire play space will meet even the strictest safety standards.

We are excited to bring this to our community and look forward spending many days as a family at the playground, something we have never done before!

 

Sincerely yours,
Angie and Ryan Shaw

Chairpersons of the Sheboygan Park Project