Dixon Park District to build inclusive playground for children with disabilities

DIXON – Work is expected to start in June for an inclusive playground for children with disabilities, a longtime goal of the Dixon Park District.

Inclusive playgrounds provide a sensory-rich environment that enables children to develop physically, socially and emotionally with equipment accessible to anyone, especially those with disabilities.

The $120,000 playground at John Dixon Park will be the first of its kind built in Dixon, Park District Executive Director Duane Long said.

One of the features will be a merry-go-round that’s level with the ground to accommodate those with wheelchairs. There will also be rubber chips instead of wood chips.

Community members have been expressing the need for such a playground for years.

“The community is very much in need for that,” he said.

It’s one of several projects with the district. Another is building six pickleball courts on the foundation of the practice roller-hockey rink in Meadows Park.

Pickleball combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis, and the sport has been growing in popularity over the years.

The fencing, sidewalks and electricity for the lighted courts is completed, and now staff needs 3 consecutive days of 70-degree weather to paint them.

The courts will open up programming opportunities for kids camps, tournaments, senior leagues, clinics and more.

“A lot of exciting things are happening,” Long said.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.