When Dr. Jack Baker lost his wife Lynne during the COVID-19 pandemic, he wanted to find a way to honor her memory. What he settled on was a project that will bring together people of multiple generations and abilities.
Armbrook Village, an assisted living facility where Lynne had been a resident, recently unveiled Lynne’s Playground, a play site for seniors and those with disabilities. It was the first project for the recently-formed Fit Play Parks, Inc. The nonprofit works to fund, build, and support outdoor interactive, physical spaces that encourage movement, play, and happiness. It was formed by Lynne’s loved ones.
In a release before the opening, Armbrook Village said the site “serves as a memorial to Lynne’s incredible spirit and offers a special space for residents of Armbrook Village to get outdoors and play with family and friends of all ages and abilities.”
To gather the funding necessary, Dr. Baker raised a quarter of a million dollars. Baker, also a resident, says they can all get some use out of it, and he’s touched that it will be a permanent memorial for his wife.
He told 22News in Springfield, Massachusetts, “It will be here forever, and we seniors, I’m in that park. We need as much outdoor exercise as we can get, and it’s both for seniors. It’s not like monkey bars or anything like the kids have.”
The facility shared images from the ribbon cutting ceremony on its Facebook page. They showed the playground equipment, residents and kids testing it out, and a picture of all who took part in the ceremony. There were even local and state elected officials on hand.
Beth Cardillo, executive director of Armbrook assisted living and memory care, told 22News, “We’ve never been opposed to trying something new, and the connected life program is absolutely brand new. The first one in the country, and seeing the culmination of all this has been incredible to watch.”
To see more images of the playground, click here.Whizzco