OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Playgrounds are a place where children make memories and families can bond, but they’re not accessible to every child and family.
Meaghan Walls says this was something she noticed when one of her children’s friends was unable to navigate the sand and wood chips at the local playgrounds.
“We came to a point where we didn’t have anywhere near our home where all of our kids could play together," Walls said.
There are accessible playgrounds in Omaha, but none are west of 84th Street.
“You’re potentially excluding almost a quarter of the population in the area from gathering and getting an experience of what park and playground socialization can be," Walls said.
She and two other women, Allison Corson-Brown and Lauren Citro, started Imagine Inclusion, a nonprofit whose first project is to create an accessible space at Zorinsky Lake to replace the 26-year-old playground there.
“Flat and accessible," Walls said, describing the future space. "There will be a lot of high-contrasting colors to help with visual navigation.”
There will be interactive activities that can be reached from a seated position, accessible swings, and a merry-go-round.
“This is flesh to the ground with seating and handrails so it's accessible for everyone," Walls said.
And there will be slides that reduce static electricity for medical implants.
"In a lot of playgrounds, slides aren’t accessible to individuals who have those very expensive medical devices,” Walls said.
The project costs $800,000; the organization has already raised about $210,000, with $100,000 coming from the city.
The plan is for the park to be completed by the spring of 2022.
“Once we have the money it’s only about 6-8 weeks to tear this out and get the new one in," Walls said.
You can donate to the project and find out about corporate sponsorships for the playground by visiting this website.