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This Boy Scout is making sure everyone has a place to play with his Eagle Scout project

Arimus Sanders is working on rebuilding the playground at Valentine Park in Munford so that it is designed for people with disabilities.

MUNFORD, Tenn. — 17-year-old Arimus Sanders said parks and playgrounds are typically built without disabilities in mind. Valentine Park in Munford, TN, is no different, but not for long. 

Sanders is currently working on rebuilding the playground at Valentine Park so that it is designed for people with disabilities. Sanders, a Life Scout with Boy Scouts Troop 260, calls the plan his "Eagle Park Project."

"I'm planning on making the park an all-inclusive park for the disabled - not just for people in wheelchairs, but for those who have any kind of physical disability," said Sanders.

The equipment he plans to install includes a wheelchair-accessible swing and a sensory pathway designed to offer a calm place for those who become overstimulated. Sanders said the current rock floor of the playground would be replaced with a safer slip-resistant and shock-absorbing surface. He would also make the current bathrooms accessible to those with disabilities.

Sanders said he presented his project to the Munford Board of Alderman on March 28, and the board unanimously voted to approve it. 

"They were all for it," said Sanders. "It was one of the greatest things I've ever felt. We've been working on this for three years."

Sanders said the idea was inspired by his experiences at church. 

"Whenever we'd go out and have recreational time, two of the youth weren't able to play. One of them had Down Syndrome and the other one was wheelchair-bound, and I noticed them always sitting on sidelines." 

He said building this park will give those people, normally on the sidelines, a place where they can join their peers and play.

Because the project is ambitious, Sanders is asking the community for help. He is currently looking for more funding and, eventually, more volunteers to help build the new park. 

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has agreed to accept any donations on Sanders' behalf. He hopes to complete the project within seven months.

Even after his Eagle Park Project is finished, Sanders said he will continue to take part in upkeep of the park. He is also in the process of forming a non-profit so that he can help future Eagle Scouts find projects that impact their communities.

For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/EagleParkProject.

Credit: Arimus Sanders
Credit: WATN
Credit: WATN
Credit: WATN
Credit: WATN

Posted by Eagle Park Project on Monday, March 28, 2022

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