The Johnson County Park and Recreation District plans this fall to build two inclusive playgrounds that can accommodate children with disabilities — a first for the county park system.
The playgrounds will be built at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, and Stilwell Community Park, on 207th Street east of Metcalf Avenue.
The department said each will have a unique design and allow all children to play together without physical or social barriers. Such playgrounds have been built elsewhere in the Kansas City area, including in Leawood, Overland Park and Olathe.
Next week, the county parks officials will host two public open houses where community members can review and comment on the designs. The feedback will help the design team refine its plans for the parks.
The first session will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District administrative building in Shawnee Mission Park. The second meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Stilwell United Methodist Church, 19335 Metcalf Ave.
No formal presentations will be made, but county staffers and the design team will be there to discuss the plans and answer questions. Those interested can stop by anytime during the meeting.
Online comments will be taken from Wednesday through Sept. 30 at JCPRDplaytogether.digicate.com.
A steering committee already has been working with the designers to make sure the playgrounds meet community needs. Besides parks and government officials, the group includes parents, faith-based organizations, institutions and advocacy groups.