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Article of Interest - Community Living

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Bridges4Kids LogoNew Playground Easy for Disabled
Lansing City Community News, November 14, 2004
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Diverse groups from Lansing - business, government and even a motorcycle club - united for a good cause: Playing.

The "Able to Play" project at Henry H. North Elementary School is billed as the first of its kind in Michigan. It is a playground designed to be accessible to children of all physical abilities.

The playground opened Nov. 5, 2004.

It was made possible through the efforts of several interested parties: National Center for Boundless Playgrounds (a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee), Lansing Rotary Foundation, and a group of parents, students and teachers. The city of Lansing contributed a Neighborhood Association Ward grant. Support also came from Capital Region Foundation, Dean Transportation, Landscape Architects and Planners and Fred White Engineering.

The group worked together to change their old playground, which had left students with disabilities watching from the sidelines.

"This special playground will be a model for what every playground should offer children," Rena Baxter is quoted as saying. Baxter is an occupational therapist at North and coordinator of the project.

Features of the new playground include four special areas.

Wheelchair-accessible swings and surfaces.

Special ramps leading to the structure's highest point and throughout the 5,000-square-foot structure.

An earth exploration area where children can play in sand and water.

A sound area where children can create music and enjoy rhythm activities on bridges, drums and tunnels.
The school is located at 333 E. Miller Road in Lansing.

    

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