Photo Credit : Kelsea Godek

Four Hearts Foundation Unveils New Inclusive Playground for Aquidneck Island Community

June 1st was a joyous day for the children and families of Aquidneck Island as the community gathered on Turnpike Avenue to celebrate the opening of the new inclusive and adaptive playground by the Four Hearts Foundation. The event marked the culmination of a two-year effort led by Kateri Chappell Buerman, who has successfully raised over $800,000 to bring this dream to life.

“It was the best day ever,” Buerman exclaimed. “Seeing so many people come out and celebrate how we came together as a community to create something special was really magical.” The new playground was immediately embraced by children and parents alike, with smiles and laughter filling the air as they explored the new equipment.

Buerman explained that the design of the playground incorporated the best elements from local playgrounds, with a focus on safety and inclusivity. “We tried to make everything as safe as possible, for example, making bridges and staircases closed,” she said. “We want kids to get to be kids here. They learn by exploring and playing without us hovering. We really hope the community loves it as much as we do.”

The Four Hearts Foundation expressed deep gratitude for the community’s support, highlighting the collective effort that made the playground a reality. “So many people donated time, money, and resources, making it a true labor of love and community effort,” Buerman noted.

Reflecting on the playground’s impact, Buerman shared her hopes for the future. “I hope that when people pass by or play here it sparks conversation about inclusion and kindness. I hope children of all ages and abilities feel like their needs have been met and feel included. I hope children get to be children here, playing together despite their differences. I hope we all realize we are never too old to play.”

Buerman also emphasized the importance of community involvement. “Our supporters made this happen. They gave children an ounce of childhood back in an often dark and scary world. I hope when community members are here, they are reminded of how much it matters and recognize the very important role they played in making it happen.”

In closing, Buerman expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Four Hearts Foundation and her excitement for the future. “It has been an absolute honor to lead this organization, and I can’t thank you enough for trusting me and helping me bring this special place to our island. I look forward to the future of the Four Hearts Foundation and hope we can continue to count on your support as we work together to improve the island we love.”

The Portsmouth Community Playground is now officially open, welcoming visitors from dawn until dusk.




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