New, inclusive playground opens in Naples’ Fleischmann Park

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

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.

New playground opens in SWFL. CREDIT: WINK News

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.

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