All-inclusive playground in memory of a young boy to open in Monticello

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:55 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTICELLO, Iowa (KCRG) - Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. people can take part in a ribbon cutting and celebration for a new playground in memory of a young boy.

Plans have been in the works for more than a year for the Austin Smith Inclusive Playground. The celebration starts at 5 with a dinner, and the ribbon cutting is set for 6 p.m. On Thursday the playground will fully open for children to use it.

It’s a playground that has something for every kid, no matter their abilities, with accessible equipment, musical toys and areas that spark a child’s imagination.

Donors and sponsors contributed $450,000 for the project in honor of a local superhero.

Doctors diagnosed Austin Smith with a rare form of brain cancer when he was five years old. He passed away in 2016. His parents started the Austin Strong Foundation to help raise money for medical research, but also wanted to build a playground in a community that supported them and their son.

“The feedback in town is just amazing. Kids are so excited to play on this playground and I know Austin would be proud of it,” said his mother Mikinzie Smith.

Smith says they’ll continue to raise money for pediatric cancer research, but also hope to build another inclusive playground in the Springville area in the future.