YAKIMA, Wash. -- A $35,000 grant to Yakima Downtown Rotary will fund construction of a a therapeutic playground in Trujillo, Honduras.

The club will match the Rotary International Global grant with another $10,500 for a total project budget of $45,500, according to a news release.

“They really put us through our paces,” said Yakima Rotarian Kenneth Smith, who has worked on securing the grant from Rotary International for more than two years.

“It’s rewarding to imagine the impact this type of project will have on children with disabilities living in this extremely underserved part of the world.”

Eight Rotarians will travel to Honduras to help with construction of the therapeutic playground. The work party is tentatively scheduled to visit Honduras for the playground construction on Sept. 6. The playground should be completed next spring.

Manos Chicas, Corazones Grandes, known as Little Hands Big Hearts in the US, is the non-profit organization that built the school where the playground will be located. It will administer the grant in partnership with Yakima Downtown Rotary, with assistance from the Rotary club in Trujillo.

Yakima Rotary has been involved in Little Hands Big Heart projects in Honduras for years, sending Rotarian work groups from Yakima to serve and improve the quality of life for residents in the Trujillo community.

Local Rotarian and Architect Rod Knipper of KDF Architecture has been to Honduras with work parties in the past and has a special interest in this project.

Together with Matt Leslie of Leslie Engineering, Knipper designed the therapeutic play space with input from physical and behavioral therapeutic specialists from across the country.

His vision was to create an educational space where children could learn as they play.

The centerpiece of the playground is a tree house accessible to all children - even those confined to wheelchairs who may have never been able to climb a tree before.