A new all-inclusive playground that allows children with disabilities and special needs to play alongside their peers is now open to the public in Bowling Green.
The Play and Learn Village was created to allow children of all abilities to play together without any boundaries. Bowling Green Parks and Recreation partnered with the city of Bowling Green, PNC Bank, United Way, and the state of Kentucky to provide the community with the playground.
The city’s parks and recreation director, Brent Belcher said the project has been in the works for the last 40 years.
The village is wheelchair-accessible, sensory play, and playground equipment specifically for children with disabilities. Playground equipment supplier, PlayPros, helped designed the playground and provided accessible equipment.
Andrea Halbig, a sales representative for the company, said they worked with the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation department to make the playground as accessible as possible.
“An inclusive playground provides just the right level of challenge that addresses all levels of ability, and goes beyond minimal accessibility to create play experiences that meets a variety of needs and interest,” Halbig said during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the park.
The playground also has a rubber flooring made out of recycled tires.
Shatavia, 7, faces a disability and was heavily involved with the development of the village. Her mom, Shalana Page, said they’ll be visiting the playground frequently.
“When we go to other parks, I have to lift her. I have to lift her wheelchair because it’s mulch, you know? Wheelchairs and mulch. I can’t push her through the mulch. So this is great for her to be independent, get to play with her other peers with no limits.”
The village is open during normal park hours, Monday through Sunday.