Pascagoula park receives 3 special needs swings - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula park receives 3 special needs swings

The swing allows Bella to enjoy the park just like other kids. (Photo Source: WLOX News) The swing allows Bella to enjoy the park just like other kids. (Photo Source: WLOX News)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

With each push, Bella feels more and more like the average kid.

"Bella is 8 years old, she has quadriplegic plastic cerebral palsy and she's non-verbal," said her grandmother, Debbie Hust. 

But she's able to leave all that behind, at least for a little while, each time she and her ya-ya visit Pine Street Park.

"For someone who can't walk....you'll see her raise her arms. It's a sensation that she doesn't get," Hust said. 

It's just one of three parks in Pascagoula now equipped with a special needs swing. The areas are part of an $1,800 project by the local Junior Auxiliary, and the city's Parks and Rec Department. 

"Someone that I went to school with mentioned on Facebook that our city really didn't have any ADA compatible swings," said Junior Auxiliary provisional member Jennifer Baxter.

So when Baxter and Dane Capley were inducted into JA and had to come up with a provisional project, it was the perfect fit.

"We saw a void, or we saw an area that needed some improvements," said Dane Capley.

The park is the perfect opportunity for kids like Bella - who are often stuck on the sidelines the swings - to be included in play time. 

"To hear a certain person who's just so ecstatic over something that we just thought would be neat to do it really makes you feel good," Baxter said. 

And from the look in Bella's eyes with every swing, you can tell it makes her feel good, too.  

The swings are just one piece of a larger push by the Pascagoula Parks and Rec to make city parks even more inclusive. In a partnership with Chevron, they also recently installed an ADA compatible, 10-speed merry go round.

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