Ribbon Cutting for Phase I of Rotary Dreamcatcher Playground in Thousand Oaks Took Place Today

Working with the Conejo Recreation and Park District, the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks Sunrise has been working to raise $500,000 by 2016 to expand and refurbish the existing special needs playground at Old Meadows Park in Thousand Oaks. The Therapeutic Recreation Unit of CRPD provides special programs for residents with disabilities and is located at the park. The playground, available to special needs and all children, has been named the Rotary Dreamcatcher Playground.

Today the ribbon cutting for the $300,000 Phase I of the project took place. Phase I expands the size of the playground and contains mat surfacing, rolling turf hills, large shaded areas, tree log swings, seagull swings, harmony chimes, hammocks, pod seats, picnic tables and many other cool features.

Phase I was possible due to the tremendous fundraising efforts of the Rotary, CRPD and Play Conejo and with generous grants from the Tull Family Foundation, County of Ventura, Farmer’s Insurance, City of Thousand Oaks, the TO Rotary Club and the Rotary Foundation, Kenrose Kitchen Foundation, Verizon, CBC Federal Credit Union, and Harrison Industries.

Old Meadows Park is located at 1600 Marview Drive, Thousand Oaks, off of Erbes Road.

Phase I is done but the fundraising continues! Visit www.rotarydreamcatcher.org to learn more and to support the effort.

New Fully Accessible Challenger Field Premiered in Simi Valley on March 22nd


Challenger Field on Opening Day (Photo: Colleen Janssen, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District)The Amanda McPherson Foundation, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, City of Simi Valley, Simi Valley Unified School District and Simi Valley Little League all contributed towards the construction of Challenger Field, a fully accessible field to make it easier for special needs players to play baseball.

The grand opening of Challenger Field was Saturday, March 22, 2014. It is now the "home" field for Challenger Division players. The entire field is solid, yet looks like grass and dirt, allowing for easy mobility by

The whole field is solid (looks like grass and dirt, but is not), allowing easy mobility by players, even if in a wheelchair. Pretty neat! What a great addition to the community.

Challenger Field is located behind Apollo High School at 3150 School Street, Simi Valley. More information and photos at www.rsrpd.org/park/challengerfield/challengerfield.html.

Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks Sunrise Spearheads New Special Needs "Dreamcatcher Playground" Project

Old Meadows Park at 1600 Marview Drive, Thousand Oaks houses the Therapeutic Recreation Unit of the Conejo Recreation and Park District, which provides recreation programs for Conejo Valley residents with disabilities. There is an existing special needs playground at the park but the playground needs to be expanded and refurbished. The popularity of this playground has steadily increased due to expanding awareness of the playground and its special features, the steady rise in incidence of autism.

Currently, there is opportunity to increase the square footage of the playground at Old Meadows Park. The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks Sunrise is spearheading the effort to improve, modernize and expand the playground. Through careful research and a survey of the special needs community, the Rotary DreamCatcher Playground will be designed with great sensitivity to the needs, comforts and inclusion of special populations and their families.

The playground will include active and passive play areas allowing children to engage in stimulating activities, and areas to which they can retreat and calm themselves after anxiety-producing experiences while remaining close by to other children, parents or caregivers.

The goal is to raise $500,000 through funding partners and fundraising activities with the project completed in phases by 2016.

Would you like to learn more about this effort and find out how you can support it? Visit www.rotarydreamcatcher.org.