Carly’s Clubhouse: a place for all children to play

Tatum's Garden, in Salinas, Calif., is just one of the all-inclusive playgrounds Leathers & Associates has built in partnership with communities across the country. (Contributed)

Tatum’s Garden, in Salinas, Calif., is just one of the all-inclusive playgrounds Leathers & Associates has built in partnership with communities across the country. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Imagine a playground that children of all abilities can enjoy on an equal level, where all can play together in a safe environment. This is exactly what Pelham Police Officer and champion of Carly’s Law Dustin Chandler envisions for Carly’s Clubhouse, an all-inclusive playground built specially for Pelham.

Chandler first introduced the idea for the playground during a May 19 City Council work session, and community support has quickly built up since then.

“People want this, it’s gotten a lot of attention,” Chandler said. “We already have people wanting to donate money, asking when we can start.”

The project will be led by Leathers & Associates, an experienced custom playground manufacturer. Since 1971, Leathers & Associates has completed more than 3,200 custom projects in all 50 states and seven countries for a wide range of clients, from “small church groups” to larger cities and towns, Leathers & Associates Project Manager Kyle Cundy said. Each project aims to go “beyond the basic wants and needs” to capture the essence of the community.

“We work hand-in-hand with the community at every step, from predesign to post-construction,” Cundy explained. “Every project we create is unique and specific to the community, we pride ourselves on that.”

“It’s about buy in from the community,” Cundy said of the project. From fundraising, to predesign phase community brainstorming sessions, to build days during construction, the entire project is a hands-on, community-driven experience.

“The community runs this project, it’s a community building exercise,” Chandler said. “I believe God wants us to all work together for the common good… And it’s something you can really be proud of (when it’s completed).”

Before Carly’s Clubhouse can become a reality, Chandler said the project needs approval for land from the Pelham City Council. Cundy and Chandler are hoping to present the project to the City Council during a July 7 meeting.

Chandler encouraged residents to voice their support of Carly’s Clubhouse through calling the city and attending the July 7 City Council meeting.

“Show up on July 7, show support,” Chandler said. “We want to pack out City Hall and show that Pelham supports this project.”

More information about the project can be found on the Carly’s Clubhouse Facebook page.