Special Needs Playground Opens In Sand Springs

Friday, August 11th 2006, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

A new playground in Sand Springs has taken some kids off the sidelines and put them right into playtime.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Jnae Williamson loves to watch her son Conner on the swing, because it's rare to find a park with a swing he can use. "We've been to parks where it's totally stairs and he's like 20 feet from the other kids because he's at the top and he can't get down the stairs."

The new swing set and equipment at Page Park is a first for Sand Springs. It incorporates new thinking for playgrounds - to take into account the needs of the handicapped.

It may look like a regular playground but it's not - the differences are subtle but for children in wheelchairs they're significant. Even things like not having a barrier here helps children get out onto the playground and use the equipment.

Jeff Edwards with the Sand Springs Parks Department: "we decided we'll do one section for wheelchair accessible people and another for other kiddos who wanted swings here, which they haven't had for years."

The park has equipment that's fun for all children - but it's also designed for children who can't use their legs and hands as well as most. For parents with several children - it's perfect - and not usually what they find at parks.

Meg Laipple: “my older children have lots to do and I get to sit on a bench with Abigail or maybe walk around because she can't play on the equipment.”

6 year Abigail has never been on a swing like they have at the park, but she's enjoying it. The mulch under the swing set won't bog down a wheelchair and the hammock swing allows all children to enjoy the park.

The new park equipment was bought through grants from the state, matched with money for the Sand Springs Parks Department.