by DREW HOWARD
The community is invited to participate in a 5K run this weekend supporting the development of a new playground designed for children with special needs.
Hosted by the Rochester Area Jaycees, the third annual Rally for Rochester 5K Fun Run will take place on Saturday, August 18 at the Rochester Municipal Park, located at 400 Sixth Street.
All proceeds from the race will go directly toward funding a universal play area and sensory garden located in the new Innovations Hills Park currently being developed at 2800 W. Hamlin Road.
Innovation Hills is being touted as the region’s largest universally accessible play area at 62.38 acres. In addition to the sensory garden and accessible play area, park-goers can also enjoy nature trails leading to the Clinton River and back-designed for walkers, runners, and bikers.
“This will provide an opportunity for the children in our community, specifically those with special needs, to learn about their senses and nature in a welcoming, comfortable environment,” Jocelyn Moellering, Rochester Area Jaycees President, said. “Visitors of all ages and abilities will be able to utilize this space to connect with nature and learn about the many different plants and ecosystems we have in Michigan.”
“The features of this park not only allow children of all abilities to have a fun experience but also give parents the peace of mind that their child is in a secure and welcoming environment,” Moellering adds.
Check-in for the 5K begins at 8:15 a.m. in Rochester Municipal Park, with the race starting at 9 a.m. Both the start and finish line will be located near the Kiwanis Pavilion across the bridge from the Rochester Police station on Sixth Street.
Organizers are encouraging those unable to participate to still show their support for the park through online donations.
To sign up for the face or donate to the cause, visit rajc.org/5K. For more information on Innovation Hills, rochesterhills.org/innovationhills.