The City of Kennesaw and Kennesaw Parks & Recreation held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, September 26, 2019 in celebration of the coming Inclusive Playground at Swift-Cantrell Park. The inclusive playground will add an additional 5,000 square feet of features to the already existing 13,500 square foot playground at Swift-Cantrell Park. The playground improvements also include removing the wood chips and installing turf to make the entire space accessible for all.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks the next step in the City meeting the needs of the community,” says Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling. “The City of Kennesaw, through its engagement with area residents, recognized the need for an inclusive playground. It seems this is the right next step in adding to our already inclusive community. A team of citizens from our City volunteered their time and effort, working side by side with City Parks and Recreation employees and members of the Swift-Cantrell Park Foundation to select the design, equipment, and contractor to deliver the final product. When complete, this playground will play an important role in the socialization of children with disabilities and will offer both a positive and engaging environment where they can participate in play with all other children. What we do here today will serve not only the whole child in building their emotional well-being, but will serve our community in building relationships and in developing social equity.”
According to inclusiveplaygrounds.net, an inclusive playground is “a universally designed, sensory-rich environment that enables children to develop physically, socially and emotionally. An engaging place that provides the just-right level of challenge and offers opportunities to succeed. A place that goes beyond minimum accessibility to create play experiences that meet a variety of needs and interests. At an inclusive playground, children of all abilities can interact with each other and do what all kids want to do: play.”
“This playground is a perfect example of collaboration between the City of Kennesaw and its citizens,” states Steve Roberts, Parks & Recreation Director with the City of Kennesaw. “Our community wanted more inclusion and our city administration listened and reacted. We are removing the barriers from this playground, making it completely accessible to every child. We are creating a space that invites all children to want to play and interact with each other. I am so thankful to be a part of this project and part of this city. I appreciate everyone who helped on the playground committee, the Swift-Cantrell Foundation and our city administration.”
The current playground features nine (9) slides, 11 swings and a main play structure that has 100 feet of ADA compliant ramps and sensory boards. The new play apparatuses will include a main play structure that features wheelchair accessible ramps, sensory stations, an eight (8) person wheelchair we-go-round and a slide.
Construction is estimated to be completed in 12-14 weeks.