SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Every kid deserves the opportunity to play with friends and family at the playground. One Southwest Missouri park board is looking to make that happen.
What changes are they looking to make?
The closest inclusive playground to Nevada is in Joplin. So, they’re looking to make Walton Park fun for all kids to enjoy.
Walton park only has one piece of equipment that accessible for all children to play on. Causing frustration for many families.
Reyna Blakely – On My Own Director Of Marketing And Community Relations, said, “We’ve had several families that have come forward and talked about wanting an inclusive playground. This is something we’ve been working on in our community advocate group for about 10 years.”
According to Reyna Blakely at least a dozen families have reached out to them over the years regarding an inclusive playground, and one of the biggest complaints is that many grandparents can’t play with their grandkids.
“One of the big things is cross generational play. That is where grandparents and grandkids can play together. We also have a lot of people who have physical impairments, but also just other kinds of disabilities, so they just want somewhere where they can go and have a good time and inclusive play with their children.”
Lisa Long – Nevada Resident, said, “My grandson is in regular school, but he is disabled and can’t do some things that other kids do. And then, me being in my power chair, it’s hard to take kids to, my grandkids, to the park and do things with them because I can’t get around as well as some parents and grandparents do.”
Once approved by the city council and the funds are gathered to make the playground, haggard says they will be able to start the process in making a playground for all kids to enjoy.
Cyndia Haggard – Nevada Chair Of Park Board, said, “Swing sets, normal swing sets, might not be appropriate. So, in an inclusive playground will have some of both. Baskets or chairs that are really molded to help people who need assistance sitting up, or need to be held in, you know things like that.”
Haggard adds they don’t know how much the playground will cost just yet, but it will be in the six figure range. Haggard also says that the sooner they can get community involvement with the playground, the quicker they can get it started.