City of Raleigh’s Largest Playground Opens Nov. 5 in Laurel Hills Park
Sassafras All Children’s Playground is designed for all-Inclusive play
Sassafras All Children’s Playground at Laurel Hills Park in north Raleigh
Photo courtesy of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Children and parents with special needs — and those without — have reason to celebrate Saturday, Nov. 5, with the opening of the Sassafras All Children’s Playground at Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh.
The new playground — the largest in the City of Raleigh park system — is designed to take children of all mental and physical abilities to new heights of play and imagination. Everyone is invited to the opening celebration at Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh, starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 5. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, children will be free to explore the playground at 3808 Edwards Mill Road, create an art project, and dance and sing along to the Sandbox Band.
Built on the 3.5-acre site of the former All Children’s Playground, the new playground features equipment — such as 50-foot-long zip lines, a basketball hoop and swings — created to allow children with special needs to play easily on them. The playground’s surface and decks are also designed for inclusion.
“The intent is to bring kids of all abilities to play together at all levels of the play structure,” says Shawsheen D. Baker, senior park planner with the City of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. “The tallest deck is 8 feet off the ground, which is fully accessible by wheelchair. There are therapeutic, independent play elements, such as the roller table, to help building upper body strength."
Baker says several canopies provide shade above the play decks, and the structure is designed for play underneath, as well. “There is combination of conventional and modern play equipment including both the post-and-deck structure as well as the modern equipment with ground-level access all around.”
Another big plus for parents trying to keep an eye on little ones who have a habit of wandering off: Small picnic shelters were built with three-sided enclosures to provide a safe and secure environment in which to relax.
The new playground was built with a $2.3 million parks bond, private donations, City of Raleigh labor, monetary donations and the physical help of volunteers. The City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation, the Frankie Lemmon Foundation and sponsors partnered to bring it to fruition. Construction of the playground completes phase one of the park plan. The City of Raleigh is currently pursuing grants and private contributions for a second phase to extend accessible recreation opportunities into the wooded area adjacent to the built playground.
Celebrate the grand opening of Wake County's renovated playground at Crowder District Park in Apex at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. Take your kids ages 5-12 years old to try out the climbing wall, 10-foot tower, slides and outdoor musical instruments. Children ages 2-5 can head to the tot-lot, which now features modern play panels. Donate a canned food item to the park’s food drive and you name will be entered into a raffle to win a free nature program.
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