Saluda aims to build inclusive playground

Published 5:21 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The existing playground at McCreery Park in Saluda. The city is discussing the possibility of building a playground at the park that would be accessible to all, including children in wheelchairs. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Saluda officials held a community interest meeting earlier this month to discuss potential plans for an all-inclusive playground to be built in the future at McCreery Park.
City administrative assistant Monica Pace said she began working on the project last October after the city’s insurance company told Saluda it would have to either make major repairs to the city’s skate park or demolish it.
Years ago the City of Saluda worked with the school to help build tennis courts at Saluda Elementary, Baisden said, so a group of people put in a skate park at McCreery. Baisden said as those people’s kids grew up and left, the park fell into disrepair.
“Now we’re just trying to figure out how to reuse the park in the best way,” Baisden said.
One suggestion would involve creating a playground area accessible to all children, including those in wheelchairs, Pace said.
“We decided that we wanted to find ways to make the whole park more accessible to the community,” Pace said.
This would be made possible through specially designed surfacing and ramps. Pace said initial designs also include additional landscaping to provide shade for families as they watch their children enjoying the playground.
Because individuals had already attempted to tear down fencing around the park, the city has removed the fencing altogether. April 4, Pace held a meeting for members of the community interested in helping raise funds to cover costs of the park and pitch in when the time comes to install the playground. So far 10 people have signed up online to participate in the build day once it comes along.
“We had a great community meeting to introduce the idea to people and we got a lot of feedback,” Pace said. “Now we just have to come up with a master plan for the park and figure out overall costs.”
Once those steps are complete, Pace said the city would really need the community’s support to fund the project.
To learn more about the project, visit

The former skate park at McCreery Park in Saluda. The city’s insurance company has said the city would have to either make major repairs to the city’s skate park or demolish it. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

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