Savannah’s Playground Enabling Park
Savannah’s Playground, named for a 19-year-old with Williams Syndrome, was the inspiration of Savannah’s Playground Enabling Park.
The playground opened in 2016 and offers an array of equipment that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The park features a zip line, specially designed swings, rubber surfaces to soften falls, an extended wheelchair ramp that stops at stations, a cooling mist feature during the summer and a mile-long wheelchair path that goes around the lake. The playground also offers the largest harmony park — a collection of durable musical instruments such as bells and chimes — in the United States.
City, state and county funds, along with donations from more than a dozen community organizations and land donated by the city, made Savannah’s Playground a reality. City employees, too, helped out by clearing the land, adding landscaping and pouring concrete walkways.
The playground has boosted tourism, promoted health and wellness to residents and visitors alike, and increased property values, all while strengthening the city’s image and unique sense of place. The planning and fundraising for the next phase is underway focusing on additional playground equipment and permanent restroom facilities. Families have traveled from various states, with online reviews from as far away as Canada, specifically to visit the playground. In doing so, those families have also patronized restaurants, shops and recreational activities nearby.
The concept of creating inclusive recreation space for children of all abilities, a project that fosters confidence, independence and personal growth, has mushroomed, as other South Carolina cities have turned their attention to enabling playground features.
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