New playground accessible to all kids opens at Hugh MacRae park

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new inclusive park is open in New Hanover County accessible for all kids.

The new park at Hugh MacRae Park is a part of the “Play Together Construction Grant for Accessible Playgrounds” created by Triullium Health Resources.

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From the zip line, to the merry go all, to the arch swing, and double-wide ramps, this park is changing the game.

“Because kids can be kids, and when they see kids at the park all the time in wheelchairs, and they see kids climbing and kids that are, you know, a little different, it’s just going to become normal,” Parent Michelle Newton said.

Michelle Newton said she has been waiting for this park to open.

“We’re clearing our schedule to be here,” Newton said. “This is huge to have a playground that, you know, fits all kids needs.”

She said this is just what her son needs.

“With having a special needs kid, you know, you walk around with labels,” Newton said. “Like, my son has autism and he also has ADHD, but when they’re on the playground, they are just kids.”

That is why Cindy Ehlers with Trillium Health Resources said they are paying to help build 30 of these parks across North Carolina.

“To create a level playing field for all children regardless of ability,” Ehlers said. “They would have a place to come and play and just be a kid.”

The dozens of kids that showed up for the grand opening were just being kids playing together regardless of their ability.

“It’s going to become typical, which is nice you know, because our kids aren’t as typical, so it’s kind of nice to see kids just playing,” Newton said.

Trillium Health Resources has opened six of these parks so far including the one in Wrightsville Beach. Ehlers said there will be another 24 opened across the state by February.