Lincoln's Place

Newton is a great place to call “home” and we want to ensure that our community continues to be a place where people want to work, play, raise families, and enjoy “the good life.” Unfortunately for many, “play” is not always possible in our community and we want to change that.

The Problem

While many playgrounds meet the minimum ADA requirements, they are often inaccessibile by wheelchair and pose health and safety concerns for children and adults of limited ability. It’s said that play holds the key to a happy and healthy life. Play is a critical part of the physical, emotional, mental, and social development of every child. Unfortuately, often times, many children and adults with disabilities are denied the opportunity for play at local playgrounds.

Our Solution

Our solution is Lincoln’s Place, “where everybody comes to play!” Once constructed (estimated date: Spring 2020), Lincoln’s Place will be a playground, located at Peterson Park, accessible to children of all abilities, ensuring every child’s right to play. We’re partnering with All-Inclusive Rec in Farmington, Missouri as well as Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation to build Newton’s own all-inclusive playground.

Everybody Benefits

The benefits of inclusive playgrounds, such as Lincoln’s Place, extend to adults with limited mobility. These individuals have previously been stuck on the sidelines, watching their children and grandchildren play without being able to join them.   

Meet Lincoln

Lincoln was born a healthy, eight pound, baby boy, and to say that his parents were nervous would be an understatement. He was their first child, and they really did not know what to expect. To their relief, he seemed to be in perfect health and developing at a normal rate. Around 18 months, however, they started to notice more and more differences between Lincoln and his peers. He had a very difficult time interacting with others (especially children his own age) and began the slow process of becoming completely nonverbal. He seemed to just be in his own world that no one else was able to understand. After many doctors’ visits and tests, Lincoln was diagnosed with severe autism and partial Trisomy 16 a month before his third birthday. 

Through many hours of therapy and special schooling, Lincoln has come a long way. However, he still has difficulties understanding his limitations and safety, like many children on the autism spectrum. Bringing Lincoln and his siblings to the park is very different for his family when compared to others. It consists of his parents following Lincoln up stairs, down slides and across fields when he decides he is overwhelmed. Unfortunately for Lincoln’s family and many other special needs families, this means going to a park is typically not an option.


Gifting is a monetary donation toward general playground funding, providing items such as soft tile surfacing, concrete bases, ramping, playground equipment, etc. 

Gift Levels:

Explorers: $100-$999
Trail Blazers: $1,000-$2,499
Park Guides: $2,500-$4,999
Adventurers - $5,000+

Gifting members' names will be displayed within the playground. 

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