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Little Rock’s first inclusive playground opens

Kids of all ability levels have a new place to play in Little Rock. City officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday at the new inclusive playground in MacArthur Park.

The playground, called “MacArthur Unlimited,” features numerous pieces of play equipment accessible to kids and adults of all different abilities, including zip lines, slides and carousels, as well as interactive sensory music components.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. says it’s part of a continued effort to revitalize existing parks and build new ones across the city.

“Today is a great example of public-private partnership. It’s a great example of residents sticking together to figure out how to get something done for our city,” Scott said. “We’re so grateful to see this culmination of partnership, communication, collaboration for the ultimate goal to ensure that we have a diverse and inclusive park here in east Little Rock, as the gateway to east Little Rock.”

The project was funded by $750,000 in donations, with help from Little Rock’s outdoor recreation grant program. The informal “MacPark Group” worked to raise funding for the project, which first broke ground in February.

Parks and Recreation Director Leland Couch says it’s another asset to the MacArthur Park area in the eastern part of downtown Little Rock.

“This project is a first for the City of Little Rock, for Little Rock Parks and Recreation. It’s an all-inclusive, unlimited playground for everyone to enjoy,” Couch said. “MacArthur Park is a perfect location, next door to our military museum, our multi-purpose court, our dog park, our fishing pond, hostel, and soon to open, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts.”

MacArthur Unlimited is the first playground of its type in Little Rock. The City of North Little Rock has two inclusive playgrounds, with the latest opening last December.

Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.