A new all-inclusive playground is getting ready to open in Lawton, Oklahoma. Soon children of all ages and abilities a chance to play on a singular playground.

Children United will open its all-inclusive playground annex in Lawton's Elmer Thomas Park this summer. The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, June 1.

What is Children United?

Children United is a subcommittee under the City of Lawton's Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority. This subcommittee has been dedicated to raiding funds for an all-inclusive playground to adjoin to the existing playground at Lawton's Elmer Thomas Park. The all-inclusive park will allow children of all ages and disabilities the opportunity to play in one single park. It will have wheelchair compatible surface, ramps, wheelchair swings, wheelchair merry-go-rounds and more.

At the time of its inception, there were no all-inclusive playgrounds in the Lawton area. According to a Facebook post from the City of Lawton, the community project was started in 2018 by the late Joe Chesko. The idea came to him after seeing a child sitting in a wheelchair at the playground, unable to take part in the fun.

What is an all-inclusive playground?

An all-inclusive playground is exactly in the name - it's inclusive for all children to play no matter their abilities and age. No matter if they have a disability or don't, they can play on same platform - breaking down barriers physically and socially.

When will the all-inclusive playground in Lawton open?

Construction on the all-inclusive playground began in December of 2023. It was expected to open in spring of this year, but now it will open in the summer. The grand opening is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1.

For more information about the all-inclusive playground and the grand opening, check out the Children United official Facebook page.

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