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First Inclusive Playground Opens in Suffolk, Virginia

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On June 12, 2019 the city of Suffolk, Virginia officially opened its first inclusive playground. The new play environment at Lake Meade Park serves children of all abilities.This inclusive play environment not only addresses the physical, but the social, sensory, emotional and cognitive needs of all children of different abilities. Gregg Dollings, a representative of Cunningham Recreation, said the playground is set up so that all children of all abilities can navigate the play equipment. Dollings noted the play structure has accessible ramps that wheelchairs can navigate, the Merry-Go-ALL will enable children with mobility issues to get aboard and ride safely, and the poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing will minimize injury from falls. The play area also includes a GT Expression Swing which offers face-to-face interaction between two people.

The Suffolk community is very excited about the Lake Meade Park inclusive playground and hopes to complete a second one at Northern Shore Elementary School.