Inclusive Matty’s Corner Playground is first for county

Courtesy of Deptford Township
Construction workers sporting Matty’s Corner T-shirts work at the site of the playground. There will be a small ceremony once the play area opens in early summer.

The lower portion of Deptford Memorial Park – formerly named Fasola – will soon be the setting for Matty’s Corner, believed to be the first fully inclusive and accessible playground in Gloucester County.

“We’re really proud of this,” said Mayor Paul Medany. ” … We don’t know of any other inclusive playgrounds in the area.”

- Advertisement -

Construction of the main playground by Landscape Structures Inc. and General Recreation Inc. is finished, with only the rubber surfacing remaining.

Medan noted that there will be a small ceremony once the playground opens, but a date has not yet been set. Matty’s Corner is expected to open in early summer, according to the the township’s Deb Willard.

The project is a partnership between Deptford council and the Matthew P. Pellegrino II Memorial Foundation, a charity dedicated to bettering the lives of children at all ability levels. It is named for a late member of the Pellegrino family, owners of several car dealerships in the area.

“Matty was someone who could always make you smile,” notes the foundation’s website. “His winning personality reached out to people across the miles. His gracious heart touched everyone with a special gift. Always lending a helping hand, so giving of himself, never asking for anything in return.

“His success in life and business arrived from his constant benevolence, honesty and goodness toward others,” the site adds. “Matty has left us with a lasting impression – never to be forgotten. Now it is our turn to echo his kindness while holding his memory alive.

“In maintaining his style, we can work together to help those who are in need and benefit the lives of others.”

The Pellegrino foundation reached out to the township about a year ago to discuss the idea of a playground.

“We had a few of our people meet with a few members from them (township officials),” explained Willard. “And we eventually settled on putting the park in the lower portion of Deptford Memorial Park.”

“The park will be in honor of the Pellegrino family,” Medany said. “They lost a brother and started this foundation and the park in his honor.”

- Advertisment -