Many people have memories of being on the playground when they were a child. The moments of joy as you come down the slide or feel like a bird soaring when you are on the swings bring a smile to anyone’s face. Now, thanks to the help of people in the community, children with special needs will be able to savor the fun playground memories, as well.
Several all-inclusive playgrounds have recently popped up around the Piedmont Triad. These recreational areas include special equipment that is tailored for children with special needs. An example of these features are a wheelchair swing, sensory activities, and enhanced safety measures. Within our area, all-inclusive playgrounds are located in Kernersville, King, and Greensboro. Each has unique features and are enjoyed by many families every day.
Freedom Playground in Kernersville:
Located in the Fourth of July Park, the Freedom Playground replaces the old playground and includes swings for parents and children to enjoy together, play rubber instead of mulch, and wheelchair ramps for the equipment. All of these changes and more allow for children with disabilities to move around the playground easily, while helping to prevent injuries. Also, throughout the park, inclusive play objects are available for kids to love. Along the walking paths, there are bongo drums and xylophones for children with an attention deficit disorder. Lastly, wheelchair pathways have been added, allowing for easier access to various areas in the park, such as the picnic shelters.
Freedom Playground in the Fourth of July Park is located at 702 W. Mountain Street in Kernersville.
Recreation Acres Park in King:
Just like the playgrounds in Kernersville and Greensboro, King’s all-inclusive playground was built with the love of the community. This playground features more than two dozen new features, including therapeutic swings, wheelchair swing, wheelchair-accessible entrance ramps, sensory items, and a wheelchair- usable merry-go-round. This project was led by the nonprofit “Make a Difference” in King. This organization took dream playground designs from local students and transformed them into a reality. Along with area businesses, community members in King came together for a build day in April 2017. According to the organization’s website, the day was spent creating the “first all-inclusive-community built playground” in Stokes County.
Recreation Acres Park is located at W. Dalton Road and White Road in King.
Proehlific Park in Greensboro:
Plans are in the works for a new all-inclusive playground at Proehlific Park. According to the playground’s campaign website, the “Play without Limits” playground will be the first all-inclusive playground in Greensboro’s SCAT bus system. Former NFL player Ricky Proehl is spearheading the vision. His organization, the “Ricky Proehl P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation” is working closely with the community to raise funds for the project and creating a place that is enjoyable for all children. If you are interested in donating, visit: www.classy.org/campaign/play-without-limits/c-169122.
Proehlific Park is located at 4517 Jessup Grove Road in Greensboro.
In addition to the three above, more all-inclusive playgrounds are being built every year. While each playground has its own characteristics, there is one thing shared by all—the vision that all children deserve the opportunity to play and make memories on a playground.