BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) — After three years of planning and construction, Bloomington opened it’s first fully accessible playground on Thursday morning. The Harmony Park Project was started after Jennifer Brown noticed Bloomington-Normal was one of the only major cities that did not have an accessible park. She says their mission was more to do more than just a build another jungle gym.
“Children that might be typically-abled are going to see children that look differently than them and they’re going to be able to see that not everyone looks the same,” said Brown.
She says they also wanted to give back to the city of Bloomington, “[The park] is going to build that empathy and that kindness is in our community.”
The park features rubber surfaces and ADA compliant ramps as well as a specially-designed merry-go-round.
Jay Tetzloff of Bloomington Parks said the playset had dozens of features that any kid could enjoy.
“The pieces were chosen for all different types of abilities and disabilities…I went through it again for probably like the 30th time and I found something new a couple days ago,” said Tetzloff.
The park cost $300,000 to complete, with most of the funding coming from corporate and non-profit donations. The city of Bloomington chipped in $85,000.