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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 23, 2020

Sensory Den at Dorbrook Park Opens for Children of All Abilities

By Shanna O'Mara

Volunteers, community members, politicians and kids at heart all came together on Sept. 19 to celebrate the opening of the Lions Sensory Den at Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck. The sensory den is an extension to the Challenger Playground and is specially designed for children with visual impairments or developmental disabilities.

The Colts Neck Lions Club spearheaded the project, which required $125,000, three years of planning and labor, and a boundless commitment to serve the community. Volunteers and sponsors – including the Colts Neck Business Association, Woman’s Club, St. Mary’s Parish, private businesses and residents – joined together to make this idea a reality, a collaborative effort which blew away Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry.

Lillian Burry (center) and representatives from the Colts Neck Lions Club cut the ribbon in front of the sensory den on Sept. 19.

“I am in awe of the Colts Neck Lions Club and all they’ve been able to accomplish in this environment,” Burry said. “Seeing all these entities work together has been remarkable. I’d also like to bring attention to the wonderful [Monmouth County] Park System who have been so helpful every step of the way.”

The playground features textured surfaces, musical devices and other interactive elements, designed to engage children of all abilities.

“Play is particularly important for children with visual impairments and other challenges as it contributes to their growth and development through increased mobility and social interaction,” the Lions Club said in a statement. “Although the equipment and features are specially designed for children who are blind or visually impaired, we are confident they will appeal to all children who visit the playground, including children in our community.”