Limitless Playground Opens at Honeymoon Island

After years of planning and research, the limitless playground, which is accessible to handicapped people of all ages, is complete at Honeymoon Island State Park.

Honeymoon Island State Park's new “limitless” playground had already passed third-grader Aiden Barnes' test when officials celebrated its grand opening ceremony Saturday.  

The Madeira Beach Fundamental student was all smiles when he cut the ribbon.

The new playground replaces one that had been worn by Honeymoon Island’s salty air. Its construction was stalled slightly over the summer when a gopher tortoise burrow was found on the site, so the new playground was moved about 200 feet. Officials built a fence around the tortoise's area. And to keep with the playful theme, one of the park’s biologists even added a wooden horse to its corral.

The playground is called limitless because it is accessible to all, including children who need special assistance or parents or grandparents who join them.

Four years of research and planning went into its design. A playground committee, comprised of Diane HoodScott HoodBob Meadows and Ron Geisheimer, visited most of the playgrounds in a 30-mile radius of Honeymoon Island to discover what worked best. They interviewed children, parents and park managers before deciding on the new plans.

“I love it,” says visitor Paula Russo who is on the ramp of the playground in her motorized scooter. “I feel safe and secure, and I can bring my great niece here and play with her.”

The playground committee enlisted the help of Geisheimer's grandson, Aiden, on the park's final plans.

Aiden addressed the crowd before cutting the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony Nov. 17. He told officials how he documented his experience for a school project. 

Money for the playground was raised by the volunteer organization Friends of the Island Parks. Publix donated some of the capital, and additional funds were raised at Countryside Country Club’s Love Fore Charity Tournament in March.

[Last Updated Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.]

Joe Nixon CPA November 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Congratulations to all who made this happen - another reason to be thankful, not only this week, but for years to come on Honeymoon Island in Dunedin FL.
Scott Hood November 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Thank you for the very nice article. As the chairman of the Love Fore event at Countryside Country Club this past March, I would like to correct your reference to the sources of funding for the playground. While the grant from Publix was much appreciated, it was far less than the one-third of the total costs of the playground as referenced in your article. It was in fact the funds raised by the Love Fore event at Countryside Country Club that represented one-third of the total costs of the playground. Scott Hood


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