Peyton Parker Lane Playground
January 2020, several parents of children who live with a disability and community leaders, started discussions to build an All-Inclusive, Accessible playground in York, Nebraska. Through a series of meetings, several committees have been formed and the playground is becoming a reality.
We have aligned and partnered with York Community Foundation, Unlimited Play Playgrounds, Crouch Recreation and Little Tikes Commercial, York Parks and Recreation and the City of York.
- To provide a play space that promotes and encourages full inclusion of children and adults with all degrees of abilities.
- To create an environment that breaks social and physical barriers, and gives the opportunity for children with disabilities to interact without feeling different. Because all children love to play.
- To provide a space that parents and grandparents with disabilities can easily interact and play with their children and grandchildren.
- To raise awareness of inclusion, and bring our community together in a space that is equal for all. Bringing children together to play side-by-side with their siblings, friends, and providing a safe place for families to socialize.
- Building community pride! When children and adults of all abilities experience the value of play, it will bring a community together in remarkable ways.
- To create play areas for children of all abilities including sensory play, physical play, imaginative play, quiet spaces, climate protection and ease of access.
The City of York's Council approved the project to be built on city-owned land in July 2020. Once all funds are raised, the park will be built as part of York Parks & Recreation Department.
As part of the YCDC 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, YCDC Board of Directors approved supporting Quality of Life initiatives such as this as part of growing the county for both businesses and talent.
The Stories Behind The Scenes:
Paul Jakeal and his wife Alisa have two sons Sawyer and Gracin. Gracin is 4 and was born with Down Syndrome. Paul and Alisa also have a nephew with Down Syndrome and a niece with Cerebral Palsy. They have a passion for inclusivity and made the call for others to join them.
Brothers, Peyton Jerry Hoffman born May 20, 1998 and Parker Steven Hoffman born August 6, 1999. Parents are Julie and Chad Hoffman of York, Nebraska. Both boys were born with a rare genetic disorder, Pelizaeus Merzbacher Disease is an X-link (only affecting males) neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. Peyton and Parker were never able to hold their head up, set up, walk, talk, or eat on their own. They were G-button dependent, and relied on tilt in space wheelchairs to move in their environments. They were incredibly smart and fully aware of theirsurroundings, and did their best to interact with those around them. They laughed, squealed, smiled, and at a young age they could reach out to touch computer screens to say yes/no, maybe, answering questions and making their own decisions. This is how they were able to learn in a school setting. With the life lessons the boys taught them, the passion of inclusion does not stop with the boys being in heaven. Julie is now a Lay-Advocate, trained by Disabilities Rights of Nebraska and helps families needing assistance with the IEP (Individual Education Program) process.
Lane Michael McDaniel was born July 9th, 2005 to Brian and April McDaniel at 30 weeks 5 days gestation. While born prematurely at 3 lbs. he was healthy. He came home from the St Elizabeth's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at 28 days and weighed just over 4 lbs. He was doing all things on his own and came home on no monitors. Just shy of 2 days after being home Lane became lethargic. Lane’s health went downhill very quickly. Lane was baptized under danger of death and transported back to St Elizabeth's Hospital in Lincoln. After days of praying that he'd survive, the doctors determined that he had contracted late onset Group Beta Strep likely from a bad blood stick while in the NICU. Lane was on all means of life support. His neonatologist, Dr. Hawk said by all statistics he should not have survived. Lane’s parents, Brian and April, believe it was by God's grace that he lived. The GBS caused meningitis and lifelong injury to his brain. Lane was not able to walk, talk or complete daily living activities independently. Lane rose above all challenges presented to him, always greeting each challenge with a contagious smile and giggle.
Brian and April advocated fearlessly for Lane’s inclusion in all things, including Catholic School. Supported by McCool Public & St. Joseph Catholic Schools they were able to successfully make this happen. Lane was included in all things that the McDaniel family did including riding on the gator, amusement park rides, going to the zoo, hunting, fishing, riding bikes, going to church, attending family gatherings, high school & community events, parades – you name it. Although these events and activities often took some additional planning Brian and April didn’t see that things could be any other way. Lane inspired other children and adults, including Brian and April to want to help others. Brian and April have since founded Living In The Right Lane a non-profit 501c3 organization which helps families with children with special needs through prayer, education and monetary donations that they call “Lane Changers.”