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City of Bryan announces inclusive playground to break ground fall 2023, open spring 2024

Developers hope to break ground on the old Lincoln Elementary School grounds in the fall of 2023 and open to the public in the spring of 2024.

BRYAN, Ohio — The Bryan Department of Parks and Recreation announced the site of the former Lincoln Elementary School would become an inclusive playground, with plans to break ground in the fall of 2023 and open it to the public in the spring of 2024.

The playground is the brainchild of Parks and Rec board member Paula Kline, a former Bryan City Schools teacher, who noticed there were no playgrounds accessible to the handicapped children she taught.

"We always had to go an hour away to a park we could actually play at," Kline said.

The new park will be made possible by a $50,000 grant through the Ability Center of Greater Toledo. Bryan Area Foundation President and CEO Amy Miller said the playground is part of the city's plan to bring more people to the east side of town.

"A lot of our programs and parks are on the west side of town," Miller said. "This is a really great way to really put something awesome on the east side of our town. This will be a really good hub for that."

With the nearest inclusive playgrounds being an hour away in either Perrysburg or Fort Wayne, people in places like Bryan are left in a tough spot.

Parks and Rec Director Ben Dominique said the park is a way to solve that problem.

"This is a need," Dominique said. "That's what's important to me. We want to fill a need for our community. We truly feel like the need is there for an inclusive playground. We want to make sure we can provide that."

Paula said the playground will be a dream come true for kids when it opens.

"I cry every time I drive by here," Kline said. "So I'm really, really excited, filled with joy."

The Bryan Area Foundation is accepting donations for the playground. They ask donors include "inclusive playground" in the designation line.

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