Broad Street Park and Playground is Openin Stateville News
Pictured are (left to right) Debbie Williamson, Church Administrator; Shannon Massi-Yuri, Preschool Director; Dr. Mary John Dye, Senior Pastor; Cindy Pike, Children's Minister; and Bedford Cannon, Trustee.
For at least 75 years, the playground at Broad Street United Methodist Church has been the site for laughter and play for children of the church and community. Children from across the Statesville area who gather at the Friday After 5 Summer Concert Series call it “the church with the playground.
The church wanted the playground to reflect the church. The tower with the windows under it mirror the architecture of the historic church. The blue color of the equipment is taken from the church’s stained glass windows. More important than the appearance, the church wanted the playground to reflect its welcome and its heart. The new playground was made possible through a generous bequest from Henry and Betty Jean Britt along with memorial money from Broad Street members.
When people from the church and community come to Broad Street Park and Playground, they will find equipment for children with a full range of physical abilities and those of special needs. The Sway Fun Inclusive Glider is wheelchair accessible and fun for play for those with and without mobility devices. People will find the Rollerslide – a tactile slide that doesn’t create the static that shorts out batteries of hearing devices and can create damage to cochlyear implants.
There is a Cozy Dome for children with autism or anxiety who get overwhelmed where they can find a quiet place and still see what other children are doing. Children with upper body mobility limitations will find molded bucket arch swings and the uniquely designed “Oodle Swing” which will hold 5-8 children, children and adults, young adult students or give a hammock-like swinging experience to children in wheelchairs.
Broad Street UMC has developed a special heart for people with special needs in an annual spring retreat for people with special needs. That ministry has been extended to a Statesville-based, ongoing ministry called SHINE devoted to those with special needs. The new Broad Street Park and Playground expands this cherished ministry of the church.
Broad Street Park and Playground is open to the public as a community playground. It is reserved Monday-Thursday mornings for the Broad Street Preschool from 9 – 1. Broad Street Kids will be hosting playdates/story times on the playground Sunday afternoons beginning October 18 from 4:30 – 5:30. Kids and families are welcome.