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Inclusive playground set to open at Crosier Park

Crosier Park Inclusive Playground 2021

The city’s first inclusive playground will open to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Crosier Park.

Prior to its public opening, the United Way of South Central Nebraska’s Adams County Communities for Kids will hold a special event on Tuesday, Oct. 19, which will give partnered childcare organizations and their children the chance to experience the playground a day early. Adams County Communities for Kids has a mission for all early childhood partners to come together to explore, enhance, and improve childcare and educational programs in our county.

“We’re happy to announce the end of Phase 1 of this project, and we’re excited to give our area childcare and early childhood education organizations a chance to kick off the fun at the new playground,” Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Hassenstab said.

“We are very excited to celebrate some of the most essential workers in Adam’s County with a night of fun and laughter together,” Wendy Gwennap, Early Childhood Community Coordinator, said. “A new playground is so exciting and having the honor to open it up to people who pour their heart and soul into children is rewarding. We want providers to know that we see the hard work they are putting in to educate our early childhood kids and that the work they do does not go unnoticed. They need to know they are surrounded by a community that values and supports them.”

The inclusive playground provides a sensory-rich environment that enables children of all abilities to engage physically and socially in a supportive environment. It includes slides, swings, climbing features, interactive spinners and roller tables, accessible ramps and interactive music features. The playground is ideal for children ages 0-12.

The City of Hastings Parks and Recreation Department and the Hastings Community Foundation announced a coordinated effort to build the inclusive playground at Crosier Park in October 2020.

The $850,000 project was funded with $700,000 from the Parks and Recreation Department’s sales tax fund and $100,000 from the Hastings Community Foundation’s Key Society. Additional funding support came from the John Harrington Memorial Fund, Hastings Noon Rotary and the Jackie Ortegren Memorial Fund.

The opening of the playground marks the end Phase 1 of the project, which included the parking area and playground. Phase 2, which includes restrooms and a shelter, is expected to break ground in the spring of 2022. The entire project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.

Published Date: 10/15/2021

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