Matteo's Dream: A Playground for Children of All Abilities

The playground design was developed by Dennis WilleConcord is home to one of the few playgrounds in the nation where children who cannot walk, see or hear can play safely alongside children who can. This unique facility is even more special in that it was constructed and largely funded by community volunteers.

Matteo's Dream - A Playground for Children of All Abilities opened to the public on May 16, 2007. Located in Hillcrest Park at 2050 Olivera Rd., the playground project was spearheaded by Concord resident Liz Lamach whose son, Matteo, uses a wheelchair and is blind. As a member of the City of Concord Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission and the Lions Club of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, Lamach brought people together to make Matteo's dream of an accessible playground a reality.

During the build that took place from April 20 to 29, 2007 over 2,000 volunteers constructed the massive playground, the largest in Concord covering an area a third the size of a football field. The City donated the land at Hillcrest Park and provided $232,000 in park funds. Lions Club members raised an additional $500,000 and solicited in-kind donations and volunteers.

The playground design was developed by Dennis Wille, a New York engineer, whose company, Leather's & Associates, specialize in community-designed and built playgrounds throughout the country. Wille visited several local schools to gather information from children about what makes a Dream playground. He also met with special needs groups to determine how to maximize accessibility while maintaining maximum playability for all users.

$20,000 and above

  • Criterion Catalysts and Technologies
  • Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation
  • Lions Club International Fund
  • U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development - Community Development Block Grant Program

$10,000 to $19,000

  • Astound Broadband
  • Color Me Mine (Walnut Creek)
  • Contra Costa First Five
  • Dianda Family Fund
  • Dolan's Lumber Company (Concord)
  • National Equipment Rentals
  • On the Wall - Ceramic and Tile Mosaic (Oakland)
  • Operating Engineers Local #3 JATC
  • Simply Design Graphics (Crockett)
  • Western Tile Design Center (Concord)
City of Concord CA