New playground design adds ‘sensory garden’

New playground design adds ‘sensory garden’

The Orange County Register | January 27, 2011 | By Fred Swegles

Supporters of Courtney’s SandCastle, a universally accessible playground to be built in San Clemente, are looking for financial help to get it completed this year – not just the first phase.

Fundraisers Mina Santoro and Don Glasgow unveiled a redesign Wednesday to add a “sensory garden” to the playground, which the City Council agreed to fund last May as part of a 45-acre sports park now under construction along Avenida Vista Hermosa. The council deferred Phase 2 until later.

In its current design, Phase 2 would cost $286,000, Glasgow said. On Wednesday, the San Clemente Rotary Club gave $6,000.

Glasgow said his group has more than $80,000 in bank deposits and receivables, with more pledges in process. “We would like to fully fund the total amount,” he said. “But realistically, we will need help from the city, too.”

The playground is named for Courtney Faye Smith, a San Clemente girl confined to a wheelchair with spinal muscular atrophy. In 2001, when she was 4, adults in her life began searching south Orange County for a place to build a playground where Courtney could play with children with and without disabilities.

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