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Officials celebrate new ADA swing at Olivehurst park

Appeal-Democrat - 5/10/2024

May 9—The Olivehurst Public Utility District (OPUD) Board of Directors held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to unveil the new ADA swing at Olivehurst Community Park — an ADA swing is designed to be accessible for people with disabilities.

To allow for more accessibility, the new Olivehurst Community Park swing allows a child to be buckled into it and the swing accommodates more weight. This new swing is a sit-and-play swing that allows the parent to swing with the child and interact.

The addition to the park came about after $3,000 was raised in the fall of 2023 by way of a murder-mystery fundraiser that was held at Duke's Diner in Olivehurst. The event was organized by OPUD Directors Mary Jane Griego and Dennise Burbank, and community member Vera Correa. The $3,000 raised did not cover the cost of the swing entirely, though, so Griego said that they will hold another fundraiser event at some point in the future.

Community members that attended the first fundraiser included Yuba Water Agency'sDeDe Cordell, Sutter County Public Information Officer Chuck Smith and Appeal-Democrat Editor Robert Summa, organizers said.

Griego said that community drove this swing's addition.

"This addition of the ADA swing is just the Board of Directors, community people getting involved to make changes — to include everybody in the community, those with special needs especially," Griego said.

Speaking of inclusion, you do not necessarily have to be a child to engage with swinging. At Wednesday's ribbon-cutting event, Burbank and Griego jumped on neighboring swings at the event since they realized that they themselves had not been on a swing for a while.

The Olivehurst Public Utility District did also rope in a little girl who just happened to be playing at the park during the ribbon cutting — she tried out the new swing.

"(I took my daughter to the park) because I was bored," her dad, Angel Soto, said.

Ironically, he said that his daughter does not actually like playing on swings. However, they do come to the park about once a week, and his daughter enjoys running through the splash pad water play facility, a recent addition to the park. There is also a new salmon mural at the park.

"(Over the last couple of years, the park) has grown, and it has gotten better and it's more safe," Griego said. "As you can see right now, we've got kids in the park."

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