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Carthage’s new all-abilities, all-ages park gives everyone a place to play

College View Park offers accessibility for all
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Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 7:13 PM CST
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CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Carthage officially opened their new all-abilities and all-ages playground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday morning.

The new College View Park on Bird Drive is a place where it doesn’t matter what the world says you can or cannot do. The park is designed to give everyone an opportunity to have fun.

A little boy tries out one of the new slides at Carthage's College View Park.
A little boy tries out one of the new slides at Carthage's College View Park.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

“There is something for everyone here,” said Jessica Pace, Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Panola College. Panola College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program collaborated with the city on the new playground.

Among the first people to try out the new playground were Paige Gates and her six-year-old son, Lyric, from Logansport, Louisiana.

“Lyric has special needs,” she told us. “And my goal in his life is to make sure that the world sees him, not necessarily that he sees the world, but the world sees him. And knows that there are all kinds of people in life and they do things in different ways, but they still have a good time.”

Lyric Gates and mother, Paige, try out the new playground equipment.
Lyric Gates and mother, Paige, try out the new playground equipment.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

And it seems Lyric and his mom found that good time at the new playground, where Lyric was able to enjoy accessible equipment alongside other children.

“I’m excited to see that there are things he can do here without a lot of work,” Paige Gates said.

Those who helped put the park together said the goal is to also motivate parents to not just sit on a bench while their kids play, but give them an opportunity to play with them.

“One of my favorites is called an expression swing,” Pace said. “It’s where two people can swing at the same time together. It’s a park where you play with them.”

The expression swing at Carthage's new all-abilities park.
The expression swing at Carthage's new all-abilities park.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

A park and a playground built on seven principles: to be fair, included, smart, independent, safe, active, and comfortable.

“It makes my heart happy,” Paige Gates said. “Just makes my heart happy to get to see him do things.”

If you’d like to visit the new College View Park, it’s located off of Bird Drive in Carthage, across the street from Panola College’s Merle Glass Building.

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