A new park and ballfields designed specifically for children with disabilities is set to be unveiled this weekend, making it the first park in New Jersey catering exclusively to disabled individuals.
The “RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams” is located on a 3.4-acre parcel of land in Bey Lea Park donated by Toms River for the project in 2017. It has a playground, a walking path, and basketball and baseball fields, all of them specially designed to be used by children and adults who suffer from disabilities. The park complex will also feature individualized games and a pavilion with ample space for outdoor therapy.
Retired professional baseball player and Toms River resident Todd Frazier donated $50,000 to the park and New Jersey set aside $400,000 in the state budget to help pay for the park, which came with a total approximate price tag of $2.5 million.
Governor Phil Murphy visited the park last year as it was undergoing construction.
“It is an honor to stand here today with Christian, Mayor Hill, and Councilman Turnbach to celebrate the Toms River Field of Dreams,” Governor Murphy said at the time. “A short time from now, this complex will be open to serve individuals of all ages and abilities, especially disabled folks with limited access to spaces like this. I am proud that we could be a part of making this dream a reality for Gavin and so many other individuals who are deserving of a fully accessible recreational space.”
“The RWJ Barnabas Health Field of Dreams will provide unique recreational opportunities for our special needs children,” Toms River Mayor Mo Hill said. “In the summer of 2017 Christian and Mary Kane started this as vision for their son, Gavin who was seriously injured in an automobile accident. Toms River donated 3.4 acres of land in the Bey Lea Park for the Field of Dreams. This project has had overwhelming support from the community including local major league baseball star Todd Fraizer who contributed $50,000. In addition, Lowe’s has selected Field of Dreams as one of the 100 projects nationwide they are supporting this year. Many of our local contractors have donated their time and materials in constructing this park.”