The Liberty Swing recently installed in Governors Park can safely hold up to 550 pounds, so chances are that 18-year-old Miranda Fleck doesn’t pose much of a challenge — even with her wheelchair.
Most of the hard work fell to her mother, Ruth Fleck, who provided the occasional push necessary to prevent the swing’s momentum from stalling.
The young lady likes her altitude, you see.
“She loves to go high and fast,” Fleck said.
Fortunately, Miranda’s mom is used to pushing — it’s how she got the swing there in the first place.
It’s like surreal that it’s actually here and it’s our daughter swinging in it.
To bring the Liberty Swing from Australia to central Pennsylvania, Fleck launched a campaign that raised $20,000 from people in and around Centre County.
She also worked with the Borough of Bellefonte get the project installed on a prime piece of real estate directly across from the playground in Governors Park.
“It’s like surreal that it’s actually here and it’s our daughter swinging in it,” Fleck said.
Miranda has cerebral palsy, making her and the wheelchair a package deal. The appeal of the Liberty Swing is that both can come along for the ride.
“One parent or one caregiver can put a person on here without any help,” Fleck said.
Her passion for the swing was enough to sway borough Manager Ralph Stewart.
“We wholeheartedly got behind the project and felt that it was a very worthwhile project for the region,” Stewart said.
Governors Park was selected as the Liberty Swing’s new home because it afforded the most opportunity for future growth.
There’s plenty of room to expand upon the Liberty Swing and that’s our idea.
Stewart said the borough would like to add other attractions that create a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities.
“There’s plenty of room to expand upon the Liberty Swing and that’s our idea,” Stewart said.
Miranda and her mother have already visited the park several times since the swing went up earlier this month.
Fleck remains grateful for all of the support they received from the community.
“I didn’t realize people would fall in love with this project as much as they did,” Fleck said.