Volunteers help build new inclusive playground

Volunteers help build new inclusive playground

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In just over a month, kids with disabilities will have a playground they can call their own.

The Southside Park playground in Tyler will be an inclusive playground — having equipment allowing children with disabilities to play just like able-bodied kids.

Amanda Storer is the project coordinator for the playground and is also a physical therapy assistant.

“I had plenty of families coming to me saying, hey we don’t have anywhere to take our families, our kids with special needs but also there’s nowhere for them to play with their siblings as well, so there’s nothing that encompasses everyone,” said Storer.

She took those families’ complaints and turned them into what is soon to be the Southside Park playground.

“I know a lot of the patients we saw, they don’t get to do things that every day kids get to do,” said Caroline Smith, a physical therapy student at TJC. “I know several kids that are wheelchair bound or just don’t have enough mobility to get on a normal swing, so being able to use this they’ll feel like normal kids again.”

Saturday, volunteers from throughout the community helped to build the new playground.

“There are volunteers from all over the community,” said Storer. “Students from UT Tyler, students from TJC, we’ve got therapists from the community, families that have a heart for those with disabilities... people in this community that want to come out and help.”

Jonathan Lambach works with kids with autism and he said them and their families are looking forward to using it.

“They’re really excited about having a place in Tyler for people to come,” said Lambach. “Not just people with autism, but people with all kinds of disabilities come here for treatment; come here to live, play, work. So, just being able to have a space for them to come I think is really exciting.”

Storer said the goal was for the playground to be a community project and today’s build day made that possible.

The tentative grand opening date for the new playground is October 26th.

RELATED: Tyler City Council set to approve new skate area, all-inclusive equipment at parks

Copyright 2019 KLTV. All rights reserved.