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New Decatur all inclusive playground in the works

“It’s needed. If you have visual problems, if you have mobility problems, there’s not many places you can go,”
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Most playgrounds are not designed with those who have special needs in mind. A Decatur Church is donating part of its property to the city in hopes of changing that.

Jeff Sharp’s daughter Amelie was born with an extremely rare brain disorder and cerebral palsy. He says it’s hard to take her to playgrounds without worrying about her getting hurt or wondering off.

When out of town, the family would go to accessible parks designed to accommodate those with special needs.

“It was amazing. I thought well, can Decatur do that?” said Sharp.

Sharp pitched the idea to GraceLife Church. Church leaders voted to donate part of the church’s land to the city.

“It’s needed. There’s not many places, if you have visual problems, if you have mobility problems, there’s not many places you can go,” said Sharp.

Sharp and the people at GraceLife are working with Decatur’s Parks and Recreation Department to tackle any zoning issues, getting equipment, and looking for grants. Sharp wants the play park to be inclusive and accessible for everyone.

“We don’t want this to be the ‘Kids with disabilities’ park, we want this to be a place where everybody in the city of Decatur wants to come hang out,” said Sharp.

Everyday Sunshine Park would feature a sensory garden, splash pad, pavilion and more.

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