TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — State Assemblyman Bill Conrad announced Thursday that he has secured $80,000 in state funding to build an adaptive playground at Walter Kenney Field and equip each of the town’s 26 facilities with a defibrillator.

$50,000 will go towards the playground, which will be constructed for all children regardless of physical, intellectual or developmental abilities and differences. It will feature adaptive equipment, ramps, ground-level play options and sensory activities. Once the playground is built, the existing playground will be removed and the equipment will be repurposed.

The remaining $30,000 will go towards the purchase of the 26 defibrillators, which state law says must be available in all places of public assembly. One machine lasts 10-15 years.

“As a former Tonawanda Town Board member and the former chair of the town’s YPR Committee, I know that a longtime priority has been the creation of an inclusive public playground that every child could enjoy. I am thrilled to offer the town and its taxpayers some assistance toward this dearly held goal, especially as we mark the 75th anniversary of the town’s Recreation Department,” Conrad said. “It is also tremendously rewarding to support the maintenance of the town’s supply of AEDs, which in medical emergencies have proven to be worth their weight in gold. I am so proud of the town’s YPR Department and staff, who work every day to offer this community top-notch facilities and programming – both of which so enhance our quality of life.”

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.