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Editorial: The number of all-inclusive playgrounds grows

The Herald-Dispatch

Kids of all ages and abilities are getting equipment to fit their needs when new playgrounds are built. It’s about time.

The Huntington area got its first all-inclusive playground in 2018. It opened late in the year, past the time people normally think of kids on playgrounds, but the one in Huntington’s West End is used year-round as weather permits.

“In 30 years of being in parks and recreation, this is and will be the most rewarding project I’ve ever worked on and been a part of,” said Kevin Brady, who at the time was executive director of the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District and who worked to create the park.

The idea behind the all-inclusive playground at St. Cloud Commons was to give children of all abilities a place to play. From toddlers who have just learned to walk to children with physical or other disabilities, it’s a fun place.

The good news is that this particular all-inclusive park isn’t the last one. Children attending Southside Elementary School in Huntington will have a new playground when they start back to school in August. The old playground has been removed, and the new one will have all-inclusive equipment. Principal Carolyn Frye says the new playground will have all-inclusive features such as wheelchair accessibility and a sensory garden of musical instruments and other installations.

Wonderland Park at Kenova also is adding all-inclusive equipment.

The momentum for accessibility is growing statewide, too. Earlier this week, Gov. Jim Justice announced that SteppingStones, a program dedicated to providing year-round recreation for children and adults with disabilities, will receive $1.3 million to help build a new fully inclusive playground at Mylan Park in Morgantown.

Read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/opinion/editorial-the-number-of-all-inclusive-playgrounds-grows/article_6cd90eb3-7e19-5798-8d46-271df6e0a03b.html

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