Sixth Street Park in Pratt now features inclusive playground equipment for children of all ages and abilities.
Smiles and laughter are common at the new playground equipment at Sixth Street Park.
Pratt City Parks Department put the finishing touches on the playground, located near the Sixth Street entrance earlier this week, and it didn’t take very long for children and parents to discover there was new fun in town.
The equipment, made possible by Pratt Pilot Club fundraising, is designed to be inclusive so children with disabilities can also enjoy fun at the park.
The new equipment includes two zip lines (Zip-Krooze), four swings, an Omin-Spin (modern day version of the merry-go-round), a We-Saw (updated seesaw), and a big umbrella. Two of the swings and one of the zip lines are designed with a chair harness that locks into place and provides a safe way for all to participate. The Omni-Spin and We-Saw are also designed for inclusive riders.
The playground area is surrounded by a black rubber frame and filled with ceder chips. A pair of ramps provide access to the playground area. Some benches are also available. The ceder chips are new and it will take a time for the chips to get worked down to make it easier for children in wheelchairs to access the play area.
Anel Cox, Pilot Club past president, said the club has been working on the project since 2017 and more pieces are planned so this is a work in progress.
Another umbrella and some more benches are on the way. Also in the works are an outside xylophone, a drum and drum sticks and another zip line. An area has been set aside for another zip line but they are expensive at $24,000 so the Club is seeking more financial assistance for this project, Cox said.
Originally, three zip lines were planned but the cost was prohibitive so Pilot Club settled on two with hopes of adding a third in the future. The zip line has been very popular so another line would be a welcome addition.
It took a lot of fundraising to earn the $67,000 for this project. Pilot Club used Flamingo Flocking to raise funds. Flamingo statues were placed in people’s yards or in business flower beds then Pilot Club received donations to have the flamingo removed to other locations.
Several fund raisers including selling food, popcorn and hot dogs, at the Western Days and Halloween events in the park plus a community garage sale in 20218. Pilot Club solicited businesses for donations and service organizations including Kiwanis, Elks, Gamma Beta Sorority all donated funds to make this playground a reality, Cox said.
“It was hard work but we did it,” Cox said.
Cox said the project started after she visited a playground at Haskins Learning Center for South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative. They had a swing designed for handicapped children. Since Pilot Club deals with brain injury, an inclusive playground became the goal for Pilot Club.