CAMDEN Accessible Playground
CAMDEN Playground was not built so it could receive awards or recognition, it was done for children with special needs, like Camden Hookstead so they could share in the joy of a real childhood. As an escape from the pain of their everyday lives, and to help them be accepted by others.
To be able to play on swings, slides without barriers; and every time Camden and all children laugh and have the chance
to escape the hardships of their special needs, it brings joy. They are all children, just like everyone else deep inside, even if they may be in wheelchairs, or have walkers, seeing eye dogs, canes, it doesn't matter, they are still children. And with CAMDEN Playground, others are seeing that too.
Families come to CAMDEN Playground and no longer care what each other looks like, but only know there is another child to play with. They have fun and suddenly the prejudice that once existed has vanished, at least here in Janesville places who've modeled their playgrounds after this one, worldwide. This is the miracle received from helping a young boy, Camden, a place where people can come together, grow together and accept one another for who they truly are.
At the Janesville City Council Meeting, June 29, 2018 was declared "CAMDEN Playground Grand Re-Opening and 25th Anniversary Celebration Day" in the City of Janesville. (Resolution 2018-1549), something that was a complete surprise and honor. We have been blessed with the help given by the City of Janesville and their employees, so we share this with all who helped with the build and rebuild of this special playground.
CAMDEN Foundation, Inc. has been blessed with awards and recognition and they were accepted on behalf of all those who have to fight daily to get what they deserve....a normal childhood.
1993 CHANNEL 23 VOLUNTEER AWARD
This was an award given by Channel 23, out of Rockford, IL, given because of CAMDEN's use of between 2,700 and 3,000 volunteers during the 2
phase playground build and how they were organized and put to work so smoothly.
1993 JANESVILLE CITY COUNCIL JANESVILLE GOOD CITIZEN AWARD
This is a City award given for our contribution to the community.
1993 EASTER SEAL SOCIETY OF WI DISABILITY AWARENESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
given to people or organizations which help raise public awareness helping those with special needs.
1994 DANIEL J FLAHERTY PARK EXCELLENCE AWARD
This is a National award given to projects that "demonstrate innovative cost effective design, the utilization of community input and resources, and provide a significant impact on their community and agency".
1996 GOVERNOR'S WASTE REDUCTION & RECYCLING AWARD
This State award is given to a project which "have made outstanding efforts in source reduction, reuse of materials and recycling". CAMDEN Playground has a majority of it's ramping, and ground cover which is recycled, as well as the wood and other portions of the playground,
for which it received its award.
2010 PEOPLE MAGAZINE/MLB ALL-STARS AMONG US FINALIST
President/Co-founder, Sherry Kuelz was one of the 3 finalists from WI chosen because of CAMDEN Playground and the part she played in putting together the organization and getting it started.