BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) - A new inclusive playground has opened at Mills Park in Bryant. It's a place where every child in the community, including those with special needs, can come together and play.
According to Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs, community members brought forward the need for such a playground several years ago. They worked for several years to make it a reality.
“It's all about the community and bringing people together,” said Dave Roberts, an urban planner for Craton Tull.
Roberts designed the playground, which includes features like rubber fall zones, accessible sidewalks and special swings with harnesses.
“One of the important things of inclusive play is that you have elements for all types at all levels,” he said.
While this is a professional project for Roberts, it’s one he’s deeply passionate about. His 17-year-old daughter Alex has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around.
“Really my passion is the playgrounds because I love to see something go from concept to reality and see if my daughter can come out and enjoy it and other kids and families playing on it,” Roberts said.
He has designed five inclusive playgrounds – including the one in East End – and hopes to see more constructed in Central Arkansas.
“I just want them to see that there’s really no limits,” Roberts said. "Whether a kid’s in a wheelchair, someone’s in a walker, whether Grandma or parents are special needs – just being able to play together, do things together. There’s not going to be any barriers."
The City of Bryant will host a grand opening for the playground from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.