Playground offers fun for physically disabled children

Playground offers fun for physically disabled children
The volunteers end their day with a group picture (Source: WLOX)
A mother pushes her child on the new zip-line in the park (Photo source: WLOX)
A mother pushes her child on the new zip-line in the park (Photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The brand new zip-line is guaranteed to be a kid-friendly favorite at the updated Little Children's Park in Ocean Springs.

It's one of four new pieces of equipment that will serve kids and adults who may or may not have physical disabilities.

"We're very, very excited that we're finally accomplishing our goals," said Janie O'Keefe, the Executive Director of the Disability Connection.

The Disability Connection and the City of Ocean Springs received a $30,000 grant from the Walt Disney Corporation and the National Recreation and Park Association to give everyone an equal playground. Only 24 other grants were awarded nationwide.

It's a project three years in the making. Now, kids can just be kids without having to feel limited or left out.

"It's an opportunity to show that we embrace everybody, regardless of what cards you were dealt at birth," said Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson.

Dobson says this is a project that displays the true nature of his city.

"It just shows that our community is a very welcoming community. I'm very excited, and we're blessed to have this."

Volunteers from the Biloxi Shuckers, Waste Pro Management, and other organizations helped to add the final touches. Pushing wheelbarrows full of fresh mulch, they say the early morning start time was worth the results.

"We get out of the office a little bit, but we also get to serve our community. That's really what it's all about," said Trevor Matifes, the Assistant General Manager of the Biloxi Shuckers.

And all the helping hands got the work done in a flash.

"The only thing left to do, we have some ramps and some sidewalks to be sure that people with a wheelchair can access all the pieces easily, but other than that everything's been done," added O'Keefe.

Those ramps and sidewalks will be up by next week.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony will be on April 20th. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

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