SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Tippecanoe County parks getting more than a dozen handicap-accessible swings

Accessibility is expanding in Tippecanoe County thanks to one local girl scout. The initiative has helped provide several parks with handicap-accessible swings.

Posted: Feb 8, 2021 6:55 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2021 9:46 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- One Greater Lafayette girl scout is bringing more accessibility to several local parks. Kids with disabilities will now be able to enjoy handicap-accessible swings.

Up until this year, Tippecanoe County only had one park with a handicap-accessible swing. This also means up until this point, many kids in this community went without enjoying the parks as other kids could but now that's all changing.

Thirteen-year-old Sam Ohlhaut, who was born with a disorder that affects his mobility and speech is enjoying the first swing of the season here in Tippecanoe County. In fact, this is the first time he's ever been able to swing at a public park. That's thanks to an initiative from girl scout Lauren Kish, 17, of Indiana Troop 2748.

"I put in accessible-swings for kids with disabilities all in the playgrounds in West Lafayette and I saw a need in the community, there was only about one swing," said Kish.

Now there are 20, not only located in West Lafayette but also Lafayette and West Point parks. In order for Kish to receive her Golden Award, she had to create a sustainable community project. Growing up as a family friend to the Ohlhaut siblings, she always noticed that playtime at the park was much different for Sam.

"Every time we would go to the parks, he wouldn't be able to swing and I was always really sad because I always loved swinging and I wanted to make sure that whoever I went with if they have a disability if they don't, could swing," said Kish.

Each swing costs around $500. Kish went into this project with the goal of raising at least $3,000 but thanks to a community of supporters she was able to surpass that.

"We got to $24,000 and that's incredible, I never dreamed I could get to that much," said Kish.

Sam's mom Deanna is happy about what this project means for Sam and other kids like him.

"When spring does come, he's not going to be sitting in his wheelchair watching his brother play at the playground," said Ohlhaut. "He's usually a squealer so I expect that he's probably going to have some really squealy moments."

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is impressed with how Kish was able to identify a need and work towards a solution. He's encouraging other community members, especially youth, to do the same.

"What Lauren did by bringing it to our attention, by doing this amazing job and raising so much money, it made it so that people like Sammy can be included and get the same level of enjoyment from our park system as everybody else does," said Dennis.

These swings are located at Lommel Park, Pech-Trauchman Park, Tapawingo Park, Happy Hallow Park, U-Farms Park, and Lincoln Park.

Community donors include McAllister Foundation, West Point Lions Club, Breakfast Optimus, Noon Optimus, Wabash National, Kiwanis International, DeFouw Chevrolet of Lafayette, Knights of Pythias, Harmony Counseling, Intac Managment Group, Duke Energy, West Lafayette ADA-Coordinator and Facilities Director Tim Clark, and West Lafayette Parks Superintendent Kathy Lozano.

Lafayette
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Kokomo
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Rensselaer
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 50°
Lafayette
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 56°
Danville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
Frankfort
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Frankfort
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Monticello
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 49°
Monticello
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 49°
Logansport
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 46°
Warmest weather since December is ahead with good timing with the weekend rainfall...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660071

Reported Deaths: 12531
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion904161633
Lake48298874
Allen35720633
Hamilton31970396
St. Joseph29796510
Elkhart25331412
Vanderburgh21192377
Tippecanoe19927199
Johnson16312356
Porter15917269
Hendricks15785300
Clark11913180
Madison11717315
Vigo11562229
Monroe10300159
Delaware9824179
LaPorte9739196
Howard9038195
Kosciusko8539108
Bartholomew7424147
Hancock7399130
Warrick7399150
Floyd7180167
Wayne6622191
Grant6413157
Boone606888
Morgan6066124
Dubois5890111
Dearborn544466
Cass542899
Marshall5414104
Henry541392
Noble508476
Jackson464165
Shelby459890
Lawrence4174111
Gibson400981
Harrison397863
Clinton394453
Montgomery385083
DeKalb384378
Knox356285
Miami356163
Whitley348435
Huntington341876
Steuben337455
Wabash330576
Putnam328259
Ripley326461
Adams322149
Jasper314843
White297152
Jefferson293773
Daviess285096
Fayette271156
Decatur270188
Greene260780
Posey260431
Wells257174
Scott250050
LaGrange240770
Clay240344
Randolph225376
Spencer216930
Jennings214344
Washington209927
Sullivan202939
Fountain201042
Starke187250
Owen181953
Fulton177937
Jay177528
Carroll176218
Perry173335
Orange170950
Rush164322
Vermillion160141
Franklin159135
Tipton145941
Parke138615
Pike127432
Blackford120527
Pulaski106544
Newton96531
Brown94839
Benton91713
Crawford90313
Martin80114
Warren75312
Switzerland7527
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0433

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events