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Noah’s Place Playground opens on Popes Island

Thank you to Montana Samuels at The Advocate for the great write up on the Grand Opening of Noah’s Place Playground. The full article is below, photos can be found here.

The sun was shining on a windy Monday morning on Popes Island, where friends, family, and city officials gathered for the official opening of Noah’s Place Playground.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell welcomed many familiar faces back to the park, where just months earlier ground was broken. “We do groundbreakings at the start of project, and we do ribbon cuttings when they’re ready to go,” said Mitchell. “I can’t remember the two of them being so close in time on any project.”

The park was created in equal parts to honor Noah Fernandes and to provide a place that was accessible to all children, even those with physical disabilities, much like Noah had.

Noah, who lived with his family in Acushnet, died in 2016 from complications of mitochondrial disease at the age of 14. He suffered his first stroke, one of many, at age 5, and was then diagnosed with MELAS one of the most severe forms of mitochondrial disease, which keeps cells from functioning properly.

The Fernandes family has said that the park, for which plans were already underway prior to Noah’s death, was inspired in part because of their difficulty to find somewhere outside of the Schwartz Center for Children — where Noah attended school — to play.

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