Osceola’s new inclusive playground, one designed for both disabled and non-disabled children alike, will have its grand opening Friday, June 28.
Business leaders, donors, public officials and, of course, children will be on hand for an official ribbon cutting and “test run” of the new, free playground, according to Tom Hecht, executive director of the Osceola Community Health Foundation.
“This has been a true community driven project,” Hecht said, “with hundreds of donors raising some $400,000 for the playground and 175 volunteers helping to build it.”
Envisioned two years ago when a group of community members identified a lack of accessible playgrounds in the area for more than 600 families with disabled members, OCHF set out to find a solution. The result opens Friday afternoon.
“This playground will go beyond just ‘accessibility’ because it will encourage and enable children of all abilities to engage with one another in play and discovery,” said Bob Wolf, community relations manager at Osceola Medical Center, home of the new playground. From the specialized equipment and resilient surfacing to access pathways, the playground will accommodate people of all ages – kids, parents and grandparents.
Placed on the medical center campus, the playground is adjacent to the half-mile Jeff Meyer Public Fitness Trail and the multi-use Royal Credit Union Sport Court. Next to those are OMC, Wild River Fitness and Christian Community Home of Osceola.
“All told, this campus embodies the character of OMC and our neighbors to inspire and improve the health and well-being of our community,” said Matt Forge, CEO of OMC. “We are happy with the incredible outpouring of support that helped us build a facility like this for our community.”
The grand opening will be Friday, June 28, starting at 12:30 p.m.