Twenty six tiny shovels wielded by 26 children of all ages and abilities turned dirt, dug holes and wore hard hats for the Big Dreams Universally Accessible Playground groundbreaking Monday evening in Tuolumne.

The children, referred to as Big Dreamers by Sarah Garcia, founder and president of Big Dreams Universally Accessible Parks and Playgrounds, posed for a photo before excitedly digging their shovels into the hard packed sand at the playground adjacent to the Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall.

Since 2012, Big Dreams raised more than $300,000 in cash and in-kind donations for the project’s construction.

The bulk of the donations, about $150,000, came in since last September after an anonymous donor to the Sonora Area Foundation gave $50,000 for the project.

The playground will provide a place for children of all abilities to play together. One thing that sets the playground apart from others is that the main play structure will include a ramp in addition to the typical ladders and stairs.

Other distinctive features will include a solid surface of concrete and rubber as opposed to sand or wood chips, which can make it difficult for children with walkers or in wheelchairs.

The board and volunteers will install construction fencing Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday, they will begin dismantling the play structure that is there.

Garcia hopes the playground will be finished in September.




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