The History of Twin Meadows


In June 1997, Frank and Lori Mercede gave birth
to identical twin daughters, Nicola and Jaclyn.

Jacki suffered severe birth trauma resulting in quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. She is unable to talk, walk, sit or eat orally. The Mercede's spent most of the first few years at home with the girls because it was too difficult to take Jacki anywhere.

Her nervous system was also affected at birth and she cried constantly. Going to a playground was the furthest thing from their minds.

Besides, the average playground did not have a swing with a high back for support and a seat belt to keep Jacki in.

The Dream

In June 1999, a family member gave Lori Mercede an article about "Jonathan's Dream" a Boundless Playground in West Hartford. When Lori showed the article to Frank's father his immediate reaction was, "Let's build one for Jacki".

Frank spent the next six months working with Mayor Malloy looking for the ideal location until one day he
 



received a call from a special education nurse at Stillmeadow School in Stamford. Moira convinced Frank that Stillmeadow was the perfect location for our Boundless Playground.

Stillmeadow has the largest population of physically challenged kids in Stamford. Little did they know at the time that Stillmeadow would be the school that the twins would be attending. From the very beginning the support of the Mayor, parents, teachers, nurses, physical therapists, family and friends have everyone convinced that this playground was destined to be.

Frank Mercede can vividly recall the phone conversation he had with Amy Barzach, one of the co-founders of Boundless Playgrounds about the naming of the playground. Lori and Frank had been thinking of a name revolving around Jacki, since she is the inspiration for it in the first place.

Amy suggested this was the perfect scenario with Nicki and Jacki, meaning a typical child playing along side a physically challenged child that we needed to recognize both girls when choosing the name. Hence, the name Twin Meadows was derived from our twin girls and Stillmeadow School where it will be located.