Rachel’s Kids Park of Hope

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Rachel’s Kids Park of Hope
Dr. Rachel Navaneelan (Photo : Submitted photo)

At the February 27th meeting of city council, a delegation from Rachel’s Kids asked to use St. Therese Park as the location for an all-inclusive playground built and donated to the City of Cornwall. Her family will be the major donor towards the cost of the park, and they plan to do some fundraising.

“This is something I had wanted to do for a long time and then COVID got in the way,” Dr. Navaneelan told Seaway News, “It’s going to be totally accessible for any child. It is mainly to cater to differently abled children who have difficulty going to a park. Say for example, a child on a wheelchair; they don’t have access to these parks or playgrounds. The purpose of this is to cater to all needs of all children.”

After thinking of the idea, Navaneelan came across Sacha’s Park in L’Orignal, Ontario. Sacha’s Park built in memory of Sacha Chenier, an 11-year-old boy from L’Orignal who was severely affected by cerebral palsy and passed away suddenly in 2014. Navaneelan’s charity, Rachel’s Kids, is now receiving their guidance on how to bring the same kind of park to Cornwall.

Inclusive parks are barrier-free. They include sensory elements for autistic children, features for kids who are non-verbal, and do not include stairs or ramps to nowhere.

“We are looking for feedback from anyone,” Navaneelan explained, “We want it to be a complete community effort coming up with what is necessary and how we can meet the needs of all children. I am open to any kind of response from anybody in the community that can help us get this off the ground.”

The City of Cornwall launched a survey on their Have Your Say platform to get feedback:


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