ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) A place to play without limits. After years of planning, an all inclusive playground in South Anchorage is open.
From sensory sensitivity to mobile disabilities, the playground at the South Anchorage Sports Park is a completely custom design.
“It’s actually been under construction since 2015,” Maeve Nevins Lavtar, the project manager said.
It doesn’t matter if you’re three or 30, finding a place to swing, spin and climb is hard to resist.
“That feeling that we don’t have to keep looking over our backs and that ability to go from bike riding to climbing, sliding, swings, it’s nice to have everything,” Andria Semmler said.
Semmler traveled in with a group of moms and toddlers from Eagle River Wednesday to check out the city’s newest park.
The park officially opened on Tuesday, “It’s so different than any other park we have in Anchorage and the kids seem to really love it,” Kasey Callison said.
The playground is an all inclusive design. “It’s a playground for everyone to come to,” Lavtar said.
From the ADA accessible parking lot, to the circular path and every piece of equipment — this is a space specifically designed for those with disabilities in mind.
A giant red rope mountain, standing two stories high is in the center of the playground. Lavtar said the design is inspired by Ptarmigan Peak, which can be seen on a clear day at the park.
The park features green domes called crazy cocoons.
They’re a space for children in need of a break. “A lot of children, especially when they have autism, with this much activity they can feel anxiety so they can go in there and get there time out and feel like they’re getting a hug in a nice safe place,” Lavtar said.
A modern, double level merry-go-round is the only one of its kind in the country. The turf that blankets the park comes with a shock absorber built underneath.
A double slide with rollers and benches at the bottom seemed to be the most popular piece of equipment on Wednesday.
Lavtar said the slide is different than most,”in this playground it puts them on a level playing fields so they’re able to race each other.”
The playground is only one phase of projects coming to the sports park.
Lavtar said, new LED lighting, asphalt upgrades, two dog parks and a nearly one-mile trail are also part of the improvements included in this portion.
The park is open from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily.