If you build it, all will be able to play
Soon, children with disabilities in the Quad Cities region will have an inclusive place to play thanks to the generosity of Quad Citizens who started a fund—and raised the money—to build the “miracle” field.
The Quad City Miracle Field will remove all barriers that prevent children with disabilities to play by utilizing special rubberized surfacing and fully accessible dugouts. All elements of the field, from the bases to home plate to the pitching mound, are painted on the surface to remove raised areas, allowing full access for all children and players, regardless of abilities.
“I hope these children—and their families—will get to experience the fun of America’s favorite pastime,” said Dave Heller, owner of the Quad Cities River Bandits, who has hosted families that will play on the new Miracle Field at Modern Woodmen Park. “To give these children the opportunity to shine on the ball diamond is a wonderful gift. I’ll be there to watch them play—to see the joy.”
The Quad Cities Community Foundation was proud to work with businesses and individuals across the Quad Cities to start the project fund and grow the dollars needed to build the field. Several Community Foundation donors, after learning about the new fund, made generous contributions.
“This project represents the very best of the Quad Cities,” said Sherry Ristau, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Rooted in our mission is community collaboration, and the Miracle Field is a beautiful example of philanthropy, of people and businesses in the Quad Cities and the City of Davenport coming together to fill a wonderful opportunity. We cannot wait to cheer on the kids who will soon use this field.”
A fully inclusive field that is physically accessible to persons with disabilities also allows a freedom to program and change community attitudes that make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to use the services available. Inclusive fields provide children of all abilities the chance to play together and create a healthy and fun environment.
Chris Townsend, owner of Townsend Engineering, first got involved in the project two years ago when his Rotary Club decided to make it their main fundraising initiative. His business donated half of the cost of their construction work on the project to the field.
“I’m from the Quad Cities. All of our employees are from here. With a project like this, we can see our dollars at work. We see it making impact. We see how it makes our community more inclusive and welcoming. This field will be there for a long time,” Townsend said. “It stands as a reminder of what we can do together.”
The Miracle Field will also be designed to allow other activities such as soccer, volleyball, badminton, and beep ball to be enjoyed by athletes and children with disabilities, as well as for area tee ball players.
Dollars raised through the project fund will begin being used by the City of Davenport Parks and Recreation Department for the continued development of the field, which will be located at Prairie Heights Park.