Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

Centralia builds inclusive and accessible Borst Park playground.
Author: Peter Abbarno
May 12, 2020

On Tuesday, May 12, the City of Centralia moved forward and approved building a handicap accessible playground at Borst Park. The funds for the project come from the “Borst Construction” funds, a fund created with the use fees paid for renting park facilities, and can only be used to improve Borst Park.

I have been a strong supporter and advocate for greater inclusiveness and accessibility throughout our community. I’ve brought families and groups like SPARC, People First, Special Olympics, and the Autism Coalition to speak with city staff to share their ideas and opinions about the need for truly accessible equipment. This is a good step forward to meeting the needs of ‘all’ Centralia’s residents and visitors.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Mayor Pro-tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
Peter Abbarno speaking at the Lewis County Autism Coalition First Annual Inclusion Luncheon

At the City Council meeting in April 2018, Peter Abbarno urged City of Centralia staff to pursue “inclusion” when improving our city streets and sidewalks, parks, and when planning new playground equipment.

In May 2019, the Centralia City Council gave direction to City staff to begin planning Phase I of the Fort Borst Park Playground renovations which includes inclusive handicap accessible playgrounds and equipment for children with physical disabilities.

On Tuesday, May 12, the City came one step closer to more accessible equipment by approving plans for the new playground.

Our City should strive to be accessible to all families, residents, and visitors wanting to enjoy our community. Last spring, the City began planning new playgrounds at Fort Borst Park and I continue to advocate accessibility in our parks and throughout our community.

A more inclusive and accessible community for our seniors, for disabled residents and visitors, and for our children with special needs has been a goal of mine since being elected to the council in 2015. I am proud our community recognizes the need to consider all of our resident and include their needs throughout the decision making process.

I want to thank our Community Development Director, Emil Pierson, and parents like Patti Throckmorton Nelson and Marissa West Scott for providing insight, opinions and guidance.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
Peter Abbarno, February 2019, speaking with the People First of Lewis County organization about accessibility and inclusion considerations in decision making.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Allplay System held a major sale on many of their playgrounds and also added 20% off. The selected playground will accommodate children to age 12; but will have a focus on younger children from tots to 5-year-olds. It is also ADA accessible and inclusive with an access ramp, two bridges, and three decks.

This is a great opportunity. Taxpayer funds will not be used and the quality of life in our community will be improved at a time when we need it most. The project will be finalized in time for the Stay Home Order to be lifted- a perfect and much needed relief.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Mayor Pro-tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
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