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Lane County Nonprofit To Build Fully Accessible & Inclusive Park

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Melorie Begay/KLCC News
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A local nonprofit is building one of the Lane County’s first fully accessible park for kids with disabilities. The organization says the want the ADA compliant playground to be an inclusive environment.

Laura Dahill is director of marketing and communications for the disability advocacy group Arc Lane County. She has twin boys, one with special needs. She says he’s prone to running toward bodies of water, making most parks unsafe.

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Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News
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Director of marketing and communications for the Arc, Laura Dahill, says she has a hard time finding safe and accessible parks for her kids to play in. The parks that are accessible, she says, aren't entertaining for her kids.

DAHILL: “What the Arc is trying to do is make a place that’s a hundred percent accessible for people who may have mobility issues, or people who may need different types of play equipment to meet their sensory needs. And then the beautiful thing about this facility is that it’s also going to be safely enclosed. ”

Dahill says she’s excited that kids both with and without disabilities will get to play with each other and develop social acceptance.

The Arc received $50,000 from Comcast and is looking for additional funds to cover the estimated $2 millionproject. The nearly 2 acre park is set to open in 2021 and will be located near the Arc building in Springfield.

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Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News
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A detailed plan of the Arc Park. The park will include a 2 story wheelchair accessible theatre, swing sets, a sensory climbing wall, and a track for running and scooters.

This story has been updated to include the location of the Arc Park.  

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.