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Community raising funds for all-children's park in Raleigh

Posted March 21, 2012

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— A place that's supposed to be exciting and fun for all children is in desperate need of a makeover.

The All Children's Playground on the corner of Glen Eden Drive and Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh was built in 1991, but because of evolving codes and safety requirements, the park needs to be taken down.

Now, there's a mission to raise money to build in the same spot a new park called Sassafrass All Children's Playground, which would benefit children with physical, emotional or psychological challenges, as well as visual and hearing impairments.

Dionne Lester is part of the effort to build the custom-designed park. Her 10-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy and struggles to play independently.

"Some of her friends have limitations, and some of her friends don't," Lester said. "She's looking for a play space where all of them can come and play inclusively together."

Sassafrass has been in the works for three years. The group has raised more than $200,000 from the community through fundraisers such as bake sales, fish fries and bowl-a-thons.

Construction is expected to cost about $2 million.

Taking one step at a time, planners say they have high hopes of breaking ground by the end of the year.

The project is a public-private partnership. The city of Raleigh has committed $450,000 of in-kind contributions such as demolition and maintenance.

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  • blhug Mar 22, 2012

    My grandson, age 6, and I go frequently after school to Laurel Hills Park. We like it better than Pullen Park because there seems to have more to do, not counting the Pullen Park rides. The children quickly find someone to play with and it has a good neighborhood feel. How do I contribute to the cause?

  • ghermie1 Mar 22, 2012

    Sheesh what's wrong with the current one? Why don't they call "evolving codes and safety requirements" what it actually is: more rules and regulations. Another prime example of government regulation wasting loads of money!

  • TriangleMommy Mar 21, 2012

    Although I live in Durham I am the parent of a Special needs child who can really only play on equipment designed for children like her. Kudos to Raleigh for updating the All Children's playground. I do hope that ample shading is included (I know one in Durham I've taken my daughter to has NO shade and makes it impossible to visit unless the weather is very cool). A well designed All-Children's playground would be worth the drive from South Durham to give my sweetie a place to play.