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Former Cardinals manager begins project for ADA accessible park in Sunset Hills

Missouri

SUNSET HILLS, Mo. – Former St. Louis Cardinals legend Whitey Herzog is providing an opportunity for everyone to play in the park with an ADA accessible playground in South County.

For 21 years, the non-profit organization Rainbow for Kids has raised money for families of children with cancer and projects like what’s to come in the next few months.

Working together, Rainbow for Kids and Herzog decided on the ambitious Watson Park ADA accessible playground.

“I got a nice letter and, after thinking about it, I’ve always tried to do anything I can for kids,” Herzog said. “I know my foundation is built to build ballparks and baseball things but these kids can’t play baseball so I just sent them back a letter and I said, ‘I’ll take care of the thing; whatever you owe,’ and that’s what happened.”

With seed money from Rainbows for Kids and the Whitey Herzog Foundation, a groundswell began.

The city of Sunset Hills was awarded a $370,000 grant to expand the Watson Trail Park Playground.

“It’s going to be great because it’s going to be different from a lot of other playgrounds because the children in wheelchairs are going to be able to stay in their wheelchair and go out to the playground and it’ll be fun,” said Sally Tippet Rains, executive director of Rainbows for Kids.

The ADA wheelchair accessible playground is set to open in early spring 2021.

“They will be able to just wheel their way up in the wheelchair and get on the swing and just go,” said Rob Rains, Rainbow for Kids volunteer. “The same thing with the merry-go-round. They’ll be able to just ride it in their wheelchair. So many of the kids that are in wheelchairs get to a park and a playground and find they must be lifted out of their wheelchair and onto a swing. That’s just harder for the parents or someone to do that. So that’s what will make this one unique.”

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