The Field of Dreams was co-founded in 2017 by special needs parents Mary and Christian Kane.

In 2012, Christian and son Gavin were involved in a car accident that left Gavin with a Traumatic Brain Injury. The Kanes were always an active family of 8, and tried to continue their lifestyle post-accident when they realized it was nearly impossible. There were no parks, playgrounds, or really anywhere that was accessible for Gavin to play with his siblings.

That’s when Christian and Mary decided that things needed to change. They set off on a 5-year journey, fundraising $3.6 million to build a one-of-a-kind complex specifically designed with special needs children and adults in mind.

Since its Grand Opening on April 20, 2022, the Field of Dreams has built a community of over 2,000 special needs families of all ages and abilities, from all over the tri-state area… and the number keeps on growing.

 

The Toms River Field of Dreams Mission

Who We Are: The Toms River Field of Dreams (TRFOD) is a project with a mission to encourage and engage our communities (Monmouth and Ocean Counties), with a focus on those with special needs, in physical and social activity by building a community complex to provide opportunities for special needs individuals of all ages and abilities to engage, explore and socialize together.

What We Are Doing: The TRFOD has revitalized a 3.5-acre parcel of Bey Lea Park (North Bay Avenue) that is designed to benefit special needs individuals of all ages, abilities, and needs.

After a careful search, the site for the TRFOD was chosen at Bey Lea Park due to its central location within Toms River, accessibility to the Garden State Parkway, and the long-term commitment from the Township of Toms River. The complex consists of a basketball and bocce court, .33 miles of walking path lined with art murals from local artists, a state-of-the-art all-inclusive playground, 8 bathrooms with six special needs stalls and two changing tables, nine-hole miniature golf course, 5 community gardens, a baseball field, two thrive stations for use by physical therapists and their patients, a temperature-controlled pavilion with 4 power wheelchair chargers, and a quiet corner for those with sensory needs. The complex is open to special needs residents of surrounding towns, counties, and states.

The TRFOD provides engaging and interactive areas, events for music and art appreciation, organized leagues for special needs baseball and basketball, as well as quiet spaces for observation, reflection, and reorganization. Our hope is to increase awareness of our special needs community and provide an inclusive environment in which they can play and interact together.

Toms River and its surrounding communities will also benefit from being the only area in New Jersey with a complex specifically developed for special needs individuals.  It will serve as a sustainable landmark and a significant accomplishment for the town.