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Crosier Park to get inclusive playground

Hastings Parks and Recreation announced plans for a special kind of playground that will be built in Crosier Park. It is meant to be inclusive with features children of all abilities can enjoy.
Hastings Parks and Recreation announced plans for a special kind of playground that will be built in Crosier Park. It is meant to be inclusive with features children of all abilities can enjoy.(KSNB)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 2:01 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Parks and Recreation announced plans for a special kind of playground that will be built in Crosier Park. It is meant to be inclusive with features children of all abilities can enjoy.

For some children, a normal playground can be hard to navigate or is overwhelming. The playground will be sensory rich, meaning there are a lot of colors, textures, and things to explore. Aimed at children 12 and under, there will be swings, musical elements and ramps to make sure everyone gets to play.

“This is a place where parents of children with physical difficulties can go and gather and just be with other parents to learn,” said Dan Peters, Executive Director of the Hastings Community Foundation. “Just to have some fellowship with others that understand their needs, their challenges and be together in a casual and relaxed environment.”

The total cost of the project comes out to $850,000. $700,000 will be paid by the Parks and Recreation sales tax fund and the Hastings Community Foundation Key Society pitched in $100,000. The remainder of the cost is being covered by the John Harrington Memorial Fund and the Jackie Ortegren Memorial Fund

The foundation felt this kind of playground would be a positive step for Hastings. After several conversations with families, they found there is a big demand for this kind of space.

“They’re going to other communities to go to inclusive playgrounds because they have children or grandchildren with some physical difficulties,” Peters said. “As we hear more and more of these stories it really reaffirmed we needed something like this in our community.”

Phase one of the project is set to begin in the summer of 2021. It will include parking and the playground itself. Phase two will begin in the fall that same year to create a shelter and restroom. The location will be in the open corner of Crosier Park adjacent to the three ball fields. The city hopes it will all be wrapped up by the summer of 2022. Bids from construction companies are still being processed.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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