Name the Richmond Accessible Playground 'Gemma's Place'
My 5 year old daughter Gemma spent 10 months in hospital after being born with a rare neuromuscular disorder rending her wheelchair bound. We discovered a lack of accessibility at our local Richmond parks so I spent 4 years working towards building an Accessible Playground so that children and adults of all abilities would have a place to participate in play.
With the help of the local Richmond community, fundraising, and grants, we turned a $75,000 budget into $240,000 and built a wonderful Assessible Playground with smooth surfacing, that completed this Spring 2015.
It has been a dream come true proving inclusive play so that children with mobility challenges like my daughter don't have to experience the heartache of sitting on the sidelines watching other children play. I never expected any form of recognition but I had requested, and hoped, the playground have a sign with my daughter's name on it, 'Gemma's Place'. She has what is considered to be a life limiting condition, and I hoped to honour her by placing her little mark on this world. This playground exists because of her. The City promised to do some form of signage and one of the City Councillors promised the playground would have her name on it. City Parks purchased a boulder with intention to put 'Gemma's Place' on it, but there is a new City by-law preventing this from happening.
I am hoping that I can call upon the help of the community by signing this petition to the City of Richmond in support of naming this playground after Gemma. Together I hope we can make this possible.