All-mobilities-inclusive playground being installed at Ritchie Street Park in Nacogdoches

New playground being installed at Ritchie Street Park in Nacogdoches
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 10:43 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2022 at 7:10 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - One Nacogdoches Park is getting some major improvements in the coming months. The capital improvements plan for the City of Nacogdoches is part of the annual budget. That money, set aside in the 2022 budget, is going to improve Ritchie Street Park.

Today, the project is underway. The first step is building a new, all-mobilities-inclusive playground. Brian Bray, community services director for the City of Nacogdoches, said this type of playground is the first of its kind for the city.

“That’s a playground that is designed for literally people of all abilities. Whether it’s sight, mobility, hearing, sensory -- all of that is incorporated in the playground we’re putting up here,” Bray said.

Different committees have come together throughout the planning process to add elements to the new playground, such as the Mayor’s Committee On People with Disabilities, Parks Advocacy League and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

Some of the elements the mobilities-inclusive playground will have are a ramped system, large canopy shades, jazz chimes musical section, braille panel, inclusive slides and four swings, with two accessible for any child. Bray said parks should be for everybody.

“The playground that we were offering to the public didn’t meet the needs of everybody, all citizens within Nacogdoches,” Bray said.

Bray said the cost of the improvements is nearly $250,000. The playground was supposed to begin construction in the summer but was delayed.

“Because of shipping delays and things, we’ve heard on and on again because of COVID, it is not being installed until now,” Bray said.

Bray said the playground is just the start of the improvements at Ritchie Street Park.

“So, we’re going to expand the parking, have more ADA spaces. We’re going to put in fencing, so the entire project is going to take several months to finish,” Bray said.

The playground is expected to be completed in the first part of January.