Universal Playground

New Playground Creates Fun Environment for All

On October 4, 2009, the ribbon was cut on Red Wing's first universal playground. As the ribbon was cut, children in wheelchairs swiftly entered the playground for the first time - free of barriers and eager to be the first to try out a new type of play equipment that hasn't been available in Red Wing until now. Mayor Donna Dummer, Physical Therapist Keith Kaiser, Jerry Borgan and Colvill Park Historian Jim Freeman spoke about the importance of having such a facility.

Universal Park

Playground Vision

The vision for this playground was created when Red Wing residents Audra Quandt and Heather Marx where playing with their children at a Red Wing playground. Both children have cerebral palsy. The two mothers began discussing the possibilities of building a playground in Red Wing that would meet the needs of disabled children as well as adults.

Universal Playground Committee

After gaining support from the City Council, the Red Wing School District, other parents and local physical therapists, a Universal Playground Committee was formed. The two women, along with the committee, begin their mission to raise a half-million dollars to make this vision become a reality. A year and a half later, the playground is completed and being used.

According to former Deputy Director of Public Works, Public Services Division Lenny Strusz, "The efforts of many people are to be commended for making this playground happen. Audra, Heather and the committee worked tirelessly to fundraise and they were ‘hands-on' at every step of the project from equipment selection to installation. Many individuals and groups donated generously to provide the needed funding and thousands of in-kind hours to build the playground. Several contractors even commented about the outstanding community effort this project has been."

Discovery Park

The Discovery Park, a wheelchair-accessible raised bed garden, will be coming soon to Red Wing's Colvill Park, located next to the new Universal Playground at Colvill Park.

Directions to the Park

The Universal Playground is located at Colvill Park, 510 Nymphara Lane.

  • Highway 61 from the South (Lake City, Winona):
    • Take Highway 61 North.
    • Take a left on East 7th Street and turn right.
    • The Colvill Park entrance is the first right turn.
  • Highway 61 from the North (Twin Cities):
    • Take Highway 61 South.
    • Take a right on East 7th and turn right.
    • The Colvill Park entrance is the first right turn.
  • Highway 58 (Rochester):
    • Take Highway 58 North to Red Wing. Highway 58 turns into Bush Street, then Plum Street once in town.
    • Take a right at the four-way stop sign on Plum and East 7th Streets.
    • Follow East 7th Street to the Colvill Park entrance, one mile down on the left.

Thank You

The Universal Playground Steering Committee would like to thank all donors for the time, money and services contributed toward this project. Here is a list of Red Wing donors who donated $5,000 or more:

  • Associated Bank: $5,000
  • City of Red Wing (including in-kind labor): $157,000
  • Dave and Dee Swinarski: $5,000
  • Fairview Red Wing Medical Center: $10,000
  • Goodhue County: $20,000
  • Hearth and Home Technologies: $10,000
  • Jones Family Foundation: $50,000
  • Nestle Purina PetCare: $5,000
  • Prairie Island Indian Community: $5,000
  • The Red Wing Area Fund of the St. Paul Foundation: $100,000
  • Red Wing Shoe Foundation: $30,000
  • Robert and Carolyn Hedin, in cooperation with the Anderson Center: $25,000
  • The Sweasy Family Fund of the St. Paul Foundation: $50,000
  • Treasure Island Resort and Casino: $5,000