Oak Park-proposed splash pad

Oak Park on the south side of town would be the location of a proposed splash pad project. Donations can be made to it through Give Big Lex.

LEXINGTON — There are four new organizations participating in the Lexington Community Foundation’s Give BIG Lexington event this year community members may want to check out.

These include a splash pad, adaptive playgrounds, First Aid for Healthy Kids and the Lexington Veteran’s Pavilion.

The Oak Park slash pad is a proposed project to give families a free aquatic option during the summer. Several communities around Lexington offer splash pads, such as Yanney Park in Kearney. Oak Park was chosen for the project because it has fewer play equipment options compared to other parks in town.

Birgitte Hays is leading the charge on this project, she said, "It would be nice for Lexington to have a water feature that is at no cost to families. I wanted to add another recreation activity for children during the summer months," according to the GBL website.

Possible features at this location could include themed spray features, water geysers, aqua shooters, all on a rubberized surface.

The Lexington Aquatic Center does offer a splash pad but requires a fee, Hays would like to see a unique splash pad open to anyone who wishes to use it.

In addition the splash pad, a "bioswale," would be incorporated into the park to handle water runoff. A bioswale takes many forms but their primary function is to direct water runoff. According to the National Association of City Transport Officals, ""Bioswales are the most effective type of green infrastructure facility in slowing runoff velocity."

The project already has $1,250 donated for it, with a goal of $100,000 donated by the end of Give BIG Lex.

The second new donation option is adaptive playgrounds at Lexington Publwic Schools. The district would like to increase the access at playgrounds to students with special needs and to promote a more inclusive setting for all students, according to the GBL website.

The district’s Special Education Department is also applying for grants, in addition to GBL donations, all would go to help with the cost of purchasing and installing playground equipment

These adaptive playgrounds would be built at Morton and Sandoz Elementary and equipment will be selected based on the funding which is received. This project has a $100,000 goal as well.

First Aid for Healthy Kids goal is to help meet the medical needs to students in the Lexington School District.

Many students who lack proper health insurance may not get treated for conditions which seem minor, toothaches, sore throats, minor injuries, etc. These students might underperform in school because they do not feel well.

This organization would work in partnership with local and state organizations to access available resources to best serve the medical needs to students who might go without. Payments for medical care will be paid directly to the provider.

First Aid for Healthy Kids has a $10,000 goal.

Lexington is currently the only community in Dawson County which does not have a public acknowledgement to veterans and the sacrifices they have made for this country.

The goal of the Lexington Veterans Pavilion is to erect an open air amphitheater to host public events. Veterans will be honored with an education walk surrounding the pavilion itself.

Each of the five military services branches will have their own monument with a statue and feature a QR code for the tech-savvy to access a myriad of facts about each service and its history.

The pavilion will be located at Kirkpatrick Memorial Park, where renovations to the park itself have already been ongoing. Additional parking will allow easier access to the newly renovated lake. There will be space for additional tributes as the exhibit grows in the future.

The target timeline of the project is to begin breaking ground in the spring of 2020, with the pavilion opening to the public in the summer of 2020.

Current stakeholders in the project are the City of Lexington, Lexington Community Foundation, Veterans of Lexington, Heartland Military Museum and the Daughters of the American Revolution. The project has an $800,000 goal.

This year’s Give BIG Lexington will be the ninth year the LCF has held it, $2,811,574 has been donated to 107 different organizations and $3,482,366 disbursed with matching and prizes over the past eight years.

Give BIG Lexington will take place on Thursday, Nov. 14, with 24 hours of giving, the theme this year is, "What Makes us (Lexington) Great."

There are several ways to donate, one is by visiting givebiglexington.org and looking through the 77 participating organizations, their missions, their donation goals and how to give to them.

The second way is to give in person at the Dawson County Annex Building located at 200 W. 7th St. There is a $5 donation minimum and a $50,000 incentive match, random prizes will be given throughout the day.

On Saturday, Sept. 28 there were will be 46 days left until Give BIG Lexington, check out the website to look through all the different causes which can be supported.

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