West Memphis, AR opens first ‘inclusive’ playground

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — West Memphis, Arkansas has opened its first “inclusive” playground.

Wednesday afternoon’s ribbon cutting at Hicks Park in West Memphis signals a first for Crittenden County, an inclusive park for children with and without disabilities.

The playground is specially designed to be a safe, open space that allows children of differing abilities and ages to enjoy the outdoors.

“We have so many kids in this area with disabilities, and they are usually stuck at home, and can’t get out, because they don’t have anywhere to go out and actually be themselves,” said Sandra Gaither.

Inclusive playgrounds feature wider slides, so parents can slide with their children, and play equipment that is easily accessible.

The West Memphis inclusive playground got a thumbs-up from everyone we talked with.

“We’re super excited about the park. We’ve been waiting for it to open. And for Claire, her favorite thing in the world are parks,” said Catherine Catt.

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Catherine Catt’s ten-year-old daughter Claire suffered a seizure at an early age causing developmental delays. She says this playground is just perfect for her daughter.

“It’s really nice to be able to let her go, and play on her own, and play with her friends, and not be as concerned about her knowing it’s an inclusive park where she can do anything she needs to do and wants to do with her friends,” said Catt.

The cost of the playground was approximately $850,000, with most coming from the City of West Memphis, and the remaining through state grants.

Parents are urged to stay with their children. The playground will stay open until dark.

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