The Scholars Community Service Day for 2014 took place on April 25th. We spent the day renovating the Little League field at Binghamton’s Rec Park with the help of the city’s
Department of Parks and Recreation. Scholars arrived throughout the day, helping to paint a mural, construct a new scoreboard, plant a garden and trees, clean up the park, install new fencing, and build new dugouts. Many PwC Scholars alumni joined in on the eventful day. Funding for this project came from the numerous fundraisers from the academic year, netting over $19,000. We also received donations and contributions from community organizations like Visions Federal Credit Union, who generously donated $23,000 which helped pay for the new fencing. The large baseball field will be receiving an electronic scoreboard (a donation from Levine, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP) and other renovations summer 2014. A press conference was held in the afternoon to discuss our project and future plans.
Improving the baseball fields was the first phase in revitalizing Rec Park. OurSpace is the name of our two year project and is a collaboration between the PwC Scholars, the city of Binghamton, and the non-profit organization, Life is Washable. This collaboration has worked the on the the research, planning, and design, and will be utilizing the community and the city to implement and sustain. Phase II contains the different spaces described below.
Spaces designed and built by the PwC Scholars:
● Soundspace- An interactive playground where children can play outdoor instruments. Each instrument was carefully researched by a team of Scholars and we then worked with the community select the ones that will best benefit. The SoundSpace with encourage expression and communication and be an inviting place for children and adults of all ages.
● TreeSpace- An accessible raised Tree Deck for interactive outdoor adventures. The space will provide outdoor interactive area with nature center activities and will support the needs of individuals who need a “quiet space.” Children and adults will be able to get a great view of the entire RecPark and surrounding area.
Spaces built by other community organizations:
● Play Space: New fully adaptive playgrounds for all abilities and ages. The equipment will be handicapped accessible and will meet all safety standards. Design will be safe, secure and will encourage inclusive interactive play.
● GatherSpace with provide a place for large groups to eat and sit together. There will be accessible seating and will hopefully be used the next time Scholars visit the park!
● CrowdSpace is a fully accessible amphitheater that can hold plays and performances at this small gathering venue
● Grow Space will be an area with garden beds open for outdoor education and learning. This space with become a destination element at the park which will be unique to the surrounding area.
● OpenSpace has a labyrinth with a winding pathways design and will provide free space for imaginative play.
● Fitspace will have exercise equipment that will be safe and encouraging for all abilities and needs to take the healthy steps to fitness.
The goal of OurSpace is to create accessible spaces for everyone in the Binghamton community to enjoy and provide a community resource for over 30,000 area residents and their families that live with a disability. In June 2016, OurSpace opened to the public after over 5,000 hours of volunteer work, including the time put in by PwC Scholars. Check out a press release from opening day here!