Eagle Scout on a mission to provide playground for students with special needs

Micah Ulicny, was all smiles as he visited the all-inclusive playground and played with Richard Klare III. Ulicny created the playground as his Eagle Scout project for Boy Scout Troop 662, Valley View. Bo Neidlinger is also pictured on the swings. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Zemencik and the Citizen-Standard

What do you get when you have an Eagle Scout with a mission to create something of value, a $5,000 grant provided by the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program and a wide open space outside the special education classroom at Hegins-Hubley Elementary School? You get an all-inclusive playground geared towards the special needs of these students.

Micah, a senior at Tri-Valley High School and an Eagle Scout, was looking for something that would have a positive and lasting impact for his Eagle Scout Project, so he asked Kate Herb, the Life Skills teacher at Hegins-Hubley, if there was something that her students needed. Herb did not hesitate and showed Micah the open area outside the Valley View, Pennsylvania classroom that she thought would be a perfect place to create an all-inclusive playground. She explained that an all-inclusive playground would give the Life Skills class a playground they could utilize more safely than the school’s playground.

Now, with a project in mind, Micah got to work. He assembled a team of experts – the school’s special education chair, the Schuylkill County Master Gardeners and the Schuylkill Herb Society – and explained what he had in mind. All were very supportive and more than happy to help turn his vision into reality.

The result of this combined effort was an all-inclusive playground that allows the students to exercise muscles they normally don’t get to work in the course of their everyday activities, enjoy some fresh air and play in a safe environment and have an area where they can relax and enjoy while learning.

Join Micah on a visual tour of the playground:

The project also received some local media attention. Read more about it here.

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