ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) - A unique ribbon cutting is bringing local community members together, all-inclusiveness that's what today's unveiling was all about. The city of Robinson, Illinois now has a friendship playground. This is located at Robinson City Park. This playground focuses on making children with special needs feel included. The ribbon was finally cut on the new friendship playground.
"It's a program we've worked on for the past 10 months during the pandemic to have our communities support in the way that they have, raised over 120 thousand dollars worth of donations and 50 thousand dollars came from the City of Robinson," says Supt. of Parks and Recreation Mike Shimer.
The playground has unique features that children ages 2 through 12 can enjoy.
"This playground has a handicap accessible ramp so you can actually take the wheelchair up on the playground. It also has swings that are accessible for handicapped individuals. It also has a joint swing where the parent can swing with their child," says Alderman Sarah Arnone.
The shelter at the park called Bobby's Place was dedicated in honor of Bobby Kintner. He was a member of the Robinson community.
He suffered from a disability called Spinal Bifida and died last year at the age of 38 years old. His father says he would have loved this playground.
"A person with a disability that is what they want, they want just a minute to feel like a normal person and so Bobby would be proud of it. He would love this. It will give some young kid or a kid with a disability they can come out and play like a regular kid," says Bobby's dad John Birkofer.
It's definitely kid-approved!
"Some say some kids don't have fun a lot and don't come out a lot, well they can come here and have a bunch of fun," says Keira Shaffer.
Shimer says that's what it's all about.
"We want a family atmosphere when people come to the park, enjoy our parks together as a family to share that experience."
Next for the city of Robinson they plan on adding a bathroom to the playground. They expect to break ground in the next few months.