Inclusive playground comes to Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. – Darla Wyatt is a Joplin mom who brings her kids to Landreth Park to play, and she says the brand new, inclusive playground that’s about to open at Landreth will make the popular park even better.

“I think that’s exciting. I definitely know parents that would take advantage of that and appreciate having a more disability-friendly park in this Joplin area.”

So what exactly makes this playground inclusive? For starters, it’s a lot easier to get on the playset.

“The main thing that makes this inclusive is the ramp system. We have a ramp system that comes right off of the sidewalk and it takes you right up into the playground itself,” said Joplin Parks & Recreation Director Paul Bloomberg.

Not only is the main playset wheelchair accessible, there are a number of fun things to do closer to the ground including games and even a modernized classic.

“(We’ve got a) merry-go-round which you know, back in the 70s when you were a kid we had those all over the place. That one’s really cool, plus there’s a chair that you can sit in where you can get your buddies to swing you in and it spins you around,” said Bloomberg.

This playset isn’t Joplin’s first foray with accessible amenities for 4-State youth. The accessible-to-all Will Norton Miracle Field has been a hit in Joplin for almost a decade, and Joplin’s Parks and Recreation wants Landreth Park and eventually all its parks to follow in its footsteps.

“We’re here for everyone, always have been. We’re changing some of our philosophies for the better, and when we say, ‘everyone,’ we mean everyone,” said Bloomberg.

The new accessible playground should be open to all by Saturday, April 24th.