Hickman Area Community Foundation Fund receives grant for inclusive playground

March 21, 2023


HICKMAN, Neb. – An anonymous donor-advised fund’s $7,500 youth engagement grant will help Hickman Area Community Foundation Fund (HACFF) – a Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) affiliated fund – bring an inclusive playground designed entirely by area youth to the city’s Main Park. With the new grant, HACFF’s fundraising total nears $80,000 for the project so far, which has an estimated cost of $180,000.

“Our anonymous donor is pleased to approve this grant for the Hickman Area Community Foundation Fund,” said Kara Asmus, an affiliated fund coordinator for NCF. “It’s heartwarming to see the community come together to help children of all levels of ability play together.”

Inspired by responses to a survey administered by the City of Hickman, HACFF intends to create a sensory-rich space useable by children of all abilities residing in and around Hickman. Responses to an open-ended question highlighted the lack of areas where children of differing abilities can play with their peers. Some parents reported driving over an hour to find suitable structures for their children. A follow-up interview with administrators at Norris School District demonstrated enrollment growth among students with varying abilities, further cementing HACFF’s drive to expand play opportunities in the area.

“It is important to undertake this project now, because children are only young once and for a short time,” said HACFF Vice Chair Chelsea Hood Reese. “We do not want to miss the opportunity to encourage their growth through play.”

Volunteers spoke with families with children of varying abilities to guide and educate the fund about their needs. They also gave the children catalogs of playground equipment and asked them select and prioritize the items they wanted to see most in a potential play space.

The City of Hickman and HACFF will collaborate on the project and expect installation of equipment to begin Spring 2024 with completion in June 2024. Volunteers plan for this project to be a first step in further involving youth in Hickman’s future.

“Longer term, we intend for this project to allow our organization to be seen as a champion for the greater Hickman community youth, which will in turn help to identify more opportunities for youth-driven projects,” Hood Reese said.




About Hickman Area Community Foundation Fund

Hickman Area Community Foundation Fund is dedicated to progress and long-term prosperity. A volunteer fund advisory committee works actively to increase charitable giving and award grants to local worthy causes and projects that are addressing emerging needs and future opportunities in our community.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving more than 270 communities.

In the last five years, 46,653 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $463 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.