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First Inclusive Playground To Be Built In Clark County

Nearly 100 volunteers will gather at Snyder Park in Springfield on Saturday to help build the first playground  in Clark County that will allow disabled kids to interact with non-disabled children.  The Springfield Rotary Club developed the idea to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Rotary Club Chairwoman Mel Marsh says there were many ideas tossed around about how the organization could commemorate its anniversary, but the inclusive playground was the best.

"The Rotary Club of Springfield has always been focused on services to people with disabilities so this made perfect sense," Marsh said.

Since 2012, federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act has required public playgrounds to include equipment and be designed to accommodate disabled children. Marsh is pleased that Clark County will have its first playground that complies with that standard.

"A lot of the playground equipment is not designed for people for example transferring from a wheelchair onto a slide. This playground is going to finally give them a chance to play," she said.

Leann Castillo, the executive director of National Trail Parks and Recreation District, said construction costs and the use of Snyder Park put the price tag of the project at $300,000. She explained that the Rotary has raised over $450,000 to cover the expenses.

"They're also creating an endowment that will have money available that if we have any type of repairs that have to be made the money will already be there and Rotary will take care of that," Castillo said.

The inclusive playground is expected to have its grand opening in mid-June.