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After delays, construction begins on accessible playground in Lansing

A rendering of the future playground at Adado Riverfront in downtown Lansing.
Capitol Region Community Foundation
A rendering of the future playground at Adado Riverfront in downtown Lansing.

Construction has started on a new universally accessible playground in downtown Lansing.

The park will be located on the Grand River near the southwest corner of Saginaw Street and Grand Avenue.

The space has been designed to meet the needs of children with physical, sensory and other disabilities.

It will feature wheelchair-accessible equipment and sensory play areas as well as a boardwalk to bring visitors closer to the Grand River.

Laurie Baumer is the President and CEO of the Capital Region Community Foundation. The organization is spearheading the project. She says the closest playground like it is in Grand Rapids.

"It's different than a playground that, say, has one or two pieces of equipment just for people with physical disabilities," she said. "It's different ... because even if they can't climb something, they can be near something with their friends."

Millions of dollars have been raised for the project. Baumer says they have seen two years of pandemic and permitting delays.

"We had a ceremonial groundbreaking in the fall of ‘21, fully expecting that in the spring of ‘22, we'd be ready to go. But we were still all stuck in permit land."

The new park and playground is expected to open in September.

Veronica Bolanos contributed to this report.

Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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