The City of Sparks is celebrating the opening of a brand new park for kids of all abilities.
The new universally accessible playground at Pah Rah Park is the first of its kind in Sparks. Parks and Recreation officials said this is exactly what the city needed to round out its playground system.
"Our playgrounds are amazing," Sparks Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Domingues said. "We have a beautiful park system, but this is what we call truly accessible for all people."
The City of Sparks put the new playground near three elementary schools that offer classes for kids with disabilities. At first glance the nearly 10,000 square foot area looks like a pretty standard playground. But a closer look reveals, alongside the traditional swings, swings with harnesses to support kids with cerebral palsy. The jungle gyms have ramps instead of stairs, and a special carousel makes play all-inclusive.
"[The carousel] is zero-entry, so there's no height to it," Domingues said. "A child in a wheelchair can join in the action with their able-bodied peers."
The City of Sparks used about $500,000 in capital improvement funds to build the park. It is located at 1750 Shadow Lane, behind Whitehead Elementary School.
Last weekend the City of Reno also opened its first universally accessible playground. It is located at Dick Taylor Memorial Park near Evans Avenue.