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Did you know that when the Rotary Club of San Jose approached the city about a $6 million centennial gift of an all-access PlayGarden, Rotary was told that, due to budget cuts, they would need to also pay to maintain it or find a private organization that would?

Had we not stepped up, this would have been a deal breaker. Fortunately, our board recognized the importance of this investment to the park and our community.

The beauty of the PlayGarden is that it's designed to allow children with special needs to play alongside their able-bodied siblings and friends. We are asking for your support to help us cover approximately $25,000 in annual PlayGarden maintenance plus programming costs.

One of our first field trips for children with special needs included a young, nonverbal girl whose aide had never seen her smile. The girl is usually expressionless, yet here she is standing in the river while wearing waders and a big grin.

Many children with disabilities are socially isolated yet yearn to connect with others. Our programs help to increase socialization, contact with the physical environment, and exposure to enrichment activities that improve participants' quality of life.

Your support will help us to bring children with and without disabilities together to play and learn in a remarkable, fun, and well maintained park.

The PlayGarden is projected to open in late February 2015.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Leslee Hamilton
Executive Director
Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

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