Jessica Mathews /

Genoa Township has increased its contribution toward a new all-inclusive playground that will be constructed thanks to a massive fundraising effort by local students.

Howell High School's annual Senior Survivor fundraiser raised more than $450,000 over two years to fund the construction of the inclusive playground, which is being built in partnership with Genoa Township and Michigan Recreational Construction.

The playground will feature nature-inspired structures, with the goal being to provide a safe place where children of all abilities can play together.

Different aspects of the playground have been designed to meet the needs of children who have mobility impairments, have autism, or are sight or hearing-impaired. Everything will be accessible, and a user’s unique abilities will determine what they can do. The playground will be developmentally appropriate for children with and without disabilities by offering a wide range of challenging play opportunities where all children can interact.

At a recent meeting, an addendum was approved to an agreement with Howell Public Schools for the construction of the Senior Survivor Park on the township hall property off Dorr Road. The board approved increasing the township contribution toward the project from $139,300 to $351,080.

The expanded contribution will fully fund the Senior Survivor Park.

Board members stated they were excited about the project and it was very generous of the township to pitch in so much.

Treasurer Robin Hunt commented that it is a big jump – noting the plan came in very high but it is a great project and she’s really looking forward to construction in spring or summer.

Supervisor Bill Rogers noted that it has been communicated to the district that this is the final contribution and cap from the township, and if it’s decided to do anything further, they’ll have to sit down and remove some features or come up with more money. The change will be reflected in the 2023/2024 budget.

An update on the project Facebook page stated the original goal was to have construction started last year but it wasn’t able to happen, thus the decision was made to start work in 2023 rather than leave an open construction site during the winter months.

Featured Photo: 2022 Groundbreaking Event.