MRB Group President and CEO Ryan Colvin, PE, recently pledged his firm’s commitment to the Town of Canandaigua to support construction of its new Inclusive Playground with a $20,000 donation.
“This project is so important for the Town of Canandaigua, a valued client that we’ve worked with for many years,” said Colvin. “We’ve completed many significant projects with the Town and feel connected to the community and its residents.”
As Town Engineers, MRB Group team members work closely with both Town of Canandaigua staff and leadership to safeguard the community’s critical facilities and essential services that residents rely upon daily.
“It’s not unusual for MRB Group to get involved with our communities and local organizations,” Colvin continued, citing his team’s participation in committees, volunteer efforts, local sports sponsorships, and holiday events. “But this level is more than we’ve ever contributed before – and for a specific reason,” he said.
Colvin explained that when he was approached by the Town, he and his management team decided they wanted to “give back” to the community in a gesture that memorializes the past 18 months of public service during the pandemic.
“Municipal leaders, staff — and all those who provide public service were challenged by the unprecedented circumstances of 2020 and 2021. COVID made the outside world suddenly seem like a hostile environment,” Colvin stated.
“While we help our client communities face challenges routinely, this experience has made us appreciate the fortitude of residents and families for whom challenge is the norm. This park is for real heroes who overcome tremendous adversity each and every day – and prevail,” said Colvin.
Parents Mike and Nanci Bentley would agree. In 2016, they were determined to find a playground where their son, MJ, could play. The playground would need to be, at the very least, accessible. MJ’s parents started to dream big, and together with Sonya Smith, formed the non-profit organization, Inclusion In Motion.
Inclusion In Motion worked with the Town, eco_logic STUDIO, and the Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA) Center at the University of Buffalo in order to design the space which will be constructed at Outhouse Park West.
“Accessibility is mandated, but inclusion is a choice.” states Mike Bentley. He refers to the collaborative effort that is escalating this park beyond minimal accessibility standards into the very first universally designed and certified playground in the United States. The IDEA Center has provided universal design strategies that will be implemented throughout the playground and the whole park.
“We hope to set a new standard for playgrounds across the country. All children deserve to play in a welcoming environment alongside their siblings, peers, parents, and grandparents – regardless of their age or ability” explains Sonya Smith.
While the organization is still raising funds for the Inclusive Playground project, the Town anticipates completing construction in 2022. Town of Canandaigua residents can follow the progress of the project and park construction at Inclusion In Motion’s Facebook page / Instagram page: https://www.facebook.com/dreambiginclusion / @dreambiginclusion.
MRB Group is an engineering, architecture, and municipal services firm that works closely with local governments to maintain, preserve, and support critical community infrastructure, facilities, operations and services. To learn more, visit mrbgroup.com.
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