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East End Park phase 1 complete

(5/30) While predictions of heavy rain on May 13 caused the town to call office the official ribbon cutting ceremony until June 17 to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the East End Park Inclusive Play Area, it could not keep kids eager to play away. On Sunday, the park was crowed with lines for every ride in the park.

The Inclusive Play Area was the brainchild of the Catoctin Civitan Club, who in 2015 approached the Board of Commissioners about the idea of an all-inclusive playground that would replace some of the deteriorating equipment in East End Park. Members of the Club, with the goal of helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in mind, noticed that Thurmont parks were not all wheelchair accessible. This posed a concern for many members, so they brought some sketches and ideas to the Board for consideration.

From there, the playground was designed and phase one was completed. The new playground was designed and installed by Playground Specialists, Inc. from Thurmont. The playground allows for children of all abilities to play together without obstacles or constraints. There are two more phases scheduled as soon as funding can be obtained by the Town and the local Civitan Club. The first phase of the project cost over $70,000 and was completely funded through a Program Open Space grant obtained by the Town and a Civitan International Grant obtained by the local Civitan club.

The final two phases are estimated to cost over $200,000 to complete the one-of-a-kind project. "We are very happy to be able to partner with the Catoctin Area Civitan Club on such a wonderful project. Our goal is to get the grant funding to complete the remaining two phases in the next six to twelve months", said Thurmont Commissioner Wayne Hooper.

"The Town of Thurmont is very excited to be able to provide an all-inclusive facility such as this. We are very proud that the Civitan Club, along with the town is able to partner to bring this goal to a reality," said Thurmont Chief Administrative officer Jim Humerick.

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