Mark up another first for Peterborough.
The playground at the Riverview Park and Zoo is now unique for having a wheelchair accessible swing set.
James and Jennifer Todd got the ball rolling when they saw a friend’s son, who uses a wheelchair, could not take advantage of many of the features of the playground.
The Zoo supported the idea but had no space in the budget for such equipment. Working with zoo manager Jim Moloney, Jennifer Todd did some research and found the only wheelchair swings were made in Australia.
Eventually, they found a company in Brantford called KSL Design that was willing to design one from scratch. The Todds set up a successful GoFundMe campaign to pay for the equipment and it opened this week.
“There are some things we’ve learned along the way, some small changes we’d like to make over the next little while to improve things but it’s a good start,” said Moloney
Stella Bartlett, whose family was visiting from Mississauga, was one of the first to officially try out the swings. Her father, Myles, said they almost walked past the swings because they didn’t know what they were looking at. He says the fact Stella can make the swings work by herself is very important.
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“The minute she got on it, I realized it was a game changer. It’s amazing, she loves it,” said Myles.
James Todd says the next thing they need is a rubberized path from the gate to the swings to make it easier for those in wheelchairs to access them.
He says he would like to see individuals and businesses in Peterborough step up and, as he says, make the playground perfect.