After four years of planning and preparation, JoJo’s Jungle broke ground August 2019 in Wausau, WI with support from County Materials. JoJo’s Jungle will be an all-inclusive playground designed for children with special needs to play alongside their siblings and friends. The new park and playground area is replacing an outdated and underutilized playground in the community. County Materials donated ready-mix to construct the park’s sidewalks and pathways, helping make this promise a reality.
Four years ago, Patrick Hoerter promised his two-year-old son Josiah (JoJo) that he would build a park that he could play on with his friends. Josiah had a developmental and neurological disorder that prevented him from using typical playground equipment. Josiah passed away in 2015, but not before the Make-A-Wish foundation was able to build a small playground in his backyard. Over the next few years, funding and planning through community support culminated to make JoJo’s Jungle possible.
The playground was designed with the goals of enriching social skills and sensory learning, and promoting physical fitness for children in a safe environment, while allowing parents and caregivers to feel relaxed in their surroundings.
JoJo’s Jungle won’t be a typical playground. There will be three distinct areas targeted to the play styles and developmental needs of different age ranges. One area of the playground designed for five to twelve-year-old children will be wheelchair accessible up to eight feet in height. The two to five-year-old section of the playground will have an open concept with room to play. Lastly, there will be a separate toddler area shaded from the sun and designed to help the younger kids navigate stairs, ramps, and slides. JoJo’s Jungle will also have a cause-and-effect splash pad, accessible zip lines, music ensemble play pieces, and a shaded picnic area.
Once complete, the park will be a retreat for the estimated 3,500 children with special needs in Central Wisconsin and provide a great economic boon for the community. This donation is one example of how County Materials demonstrates its Vision of Success, Stability and Support in the communities where the company has locations.