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Lansing's first universally accessible playground revolutionizes inclusivity for kids of all abilities

Play Michigan thumbnail
Posted at 6:00 AM, May 25, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — On the corner of Saginaw Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Lansing, construction has finally begun on Play Michigan, a playground that will be the first of its kind in the area.

"Brand new, universally accessible playground for kids of all abilities, whether they have physical disabilities or sensory or developmental challenges," said Laurie Baumer president and CEO of Community Foundation.

Community Foundation is the organization behind the project. They say it was made possible thanks to a partnership with the city of Lansing, individuals and local businesses.

"Most parks today have what they call ADA accessible equipment. Usually, it's one or two pieces that are really designed for children with physical disabilities. And yet, it's really not accessible and other ways for children that have challenges," Baumer said.

So this $3.2 million playground is aimed to change that, and it will have some pretty cool features like specialty swings and sensory play areas.

"There are really cool ramps that a child for example in a wheelchair can access all parts of the playground. There's a low monkey bars right next to the high monkey bars. So if you are seated, you can actually participate right alongside able-bodied children," Baumer said.

And you'll be able to get a pretty cool view of the Grand River.

"There will be access to all of the playground equipment, the riverfront, all the amenities," Baumer said.

Play Michigan is expected to be complete in late August, and a grand opening event will happen in September.

"This is a destination not just for the residents of Lansing, it's for the tri-counties and beyond," Baumer said.

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Tianna Jenkins

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