On Thursday, a new, first-of-its-kind, all-inclusive playground opened at Fleischmann Park in Naples.
All kids love to play, but no child likes to be left out. Children could barely contain their excitement at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting for a new playground focused on inclusivity and accessibility.
“We have been waiting for this day for a long, long time,” said Jennifer Fox, deputy director of Naples’ Parks, Recreation and Facilities department. “I’ve been here almost 19 years and this is the first time we’ve done a grand opening for the playground, and so I can’t be more excited.”
Fox says Fleischmann Park’s playground is the first in Collier County to feature equipment kids with physical disabilities can enjoy.
“I love that almost every time I come here, I’m able to meet a new mom, and my kids are able to meet new friends,” said Naples mom Hayley Holt.
Holt has come to Fleischmann Park since she was a little girl. She still enjoys it years later, with a little girl of her own.
“Just getting to know other moms in the area is crucial, and having a safe place and a fun environment for kids is really awesome,” Holt said.
And her 5-year-old daughter already approves of the park’s new design.
“There are so many swings,” she said.
Another noteworthy addition to the playground: the temple trolley. It’s a carriage where the user can glide, swing and spin at the same time. Sensory-rich movement like that is known to have a calming effect on some children on the autism spectrum—another way to make the playground perfect for all kids.