City Leaders To Upgrade Whiteside Park Playground To Be More Inclusive


Thursday, September 29th 2022, 6:04 pm



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The City of Tulsa will build a new playground at Whiteside Park, with features designed so children of all abilities can enjoy them.

The designers said it goes beyond “handicapped accessible” to make the equipment useful for children with limited vision, poor mobility, and other disabilities.

Mayor G.T. Bynum credited Tulsa mom Lauren Pool with pushing for the idea towards reality.

Pool’s daughter uses a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy, and her family found while they were able to get to some playgrounds, few had surfaces a wheelchair can handle, and even fewer had equipment that she could enjoy with her siblings.

“The accessibility comes in, so we can get to the park, but can't enjoy the park when we're there because it's not inclusive,” said Pool.

A $1 million donation from the Sanford and Irene Burnstein Foundation will cover most of the cost.

Anna America, the Director of Culture and Recreation for the City of Tulsa, said it was important to build playgrounds all children could enjoy.

“They're not going over to some piece over there that's for them, they're playing with their friends, or siblings, and they're playing together,” she said.

“This is not just playground equipment for kids with special needs, this is playground equipment that every kid in this region will be super excited to use, and they're going to be used it side by side, having that great experience together,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

The new playground will go on the east side of the park, and when it’s completed in the spring, an older and outdated, but still popular playground on the south side of Whiteside will be removed.

“This is not just playground equipment for kids with special needs, this is playground equipment that every kid in this region will be super excited to use, and they're going to be used it side by side, having that great experience together.”

The new playground will go on the east side of the park. When it’s completed in the spring, an older and outdated, but still popular playground on the south side of Whiteside will be removed.

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