All-inclusive playground opens in NLR after many 'trials and tribulations'

NLR's all-inclusive playground open to the public

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's been a journey with many trials for the One Heart Playground in North Little Rock.

The playground is an inclusive playground meant to bring together people of all different abilities. But a few months ago, after massive sinkholes destroyed the playground flooring days before its initial ribbon cutting, many wondered if the playground would ever become a reality.

Sure enough, it is now a reality. Thursday was the official ribbon cutting for the playground, making it one of the first playgrounds of its kind in Arkansas. Hundreds of people from the community came out to celebrate and have some fun.

Terry Hartwick, Dirctor of NLR Parks and Recreation, was emotional as he reflected on the journey to making the park a reality.

“It feels good, it really does,” said Hartwick. “It’s been a rallying point for the whole city and everyone is really proud of it.”

The family of Emma Wosson, the little girl who was the inspiration for the park, said they are ecstatic to bring people together.

“This didn't come without trials and tribulations and a few sinkholes, but we persevered,” said Kenny Wosson. “Anything worth having in life usually does come with some trials and tribulations.”

Jerilyn Wosson said that she was incredibly thankful for the entire community because it took the whole community to make the playground a reality.

“I want everyone to know that this isn’t about Emma and this isn’t about my family; this is about all of us,” she said.

Bryan Purifoy attended the ribbon cutting on Thursday because he said this is something he has waited 30 years to see. He has been in a wheelchair most of his life.

“All my life I wanted to be included and now I can finally do something and be included,” said Purifoy. “Even though it’s at 30 years old, it’s finally here and it’s a lifelong dream come true.”

For Bryan’s mother, Emma, it is a dream she has hoped for her all of her son’s life.

“We have come to the park over the years and he always had to sit and watch other kids play,” said Emma. “We’ve wanted something like this for a long time so we are very excited.”

For more information on the playground and where to find it, click here.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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