Reading Road Trip - playground

Kids and parents play June 28,2010 at Bandshell Park. The playground at Inis Grove Park is set to be torn down Wednesday before construction on an "all-inclusive" replacement.

Inis Grove Park’s current playground is closing forever Wednesday, in preparation for its replacement with an “all-inclusive playground.”

The Ames Home Builders Association will start tearing down the existing playground at 3 p.m. Wednesday. They are removing the current structure in preparation for its replacement with the Ames Miracle Playground and Field.

According to the Ames Foundation, there are more than 3,500 children with special needs between ages 5 and 15 living in Polk, Boone, Dallas and Story counties, with more than 500 attending Ames and Gilbert schools.

“There has, and continues to be, a lack of recreational facilities for this population and the ability to participate in sports leagues is almost non-existent,” the foundation’s website says.

Emily Helmer, a non-degree student in liberal arts and sciences at Iowa State and a psychology student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said she has good memories of the playground at Inis Grove Park, and had not heard of the changes set to come.

“When I was little, I was only allowed to stay on the playground, but I remember playing games with my friends while I was there — hide and seek, tag, and fish in the water/woodchips,” Helmer said.

Of the coming changes, Helmer said she was “glad they’re trying to be more inclusive.”

“I’ve had my share of being there, so hopefully more kids will have their chance at making memories there too,” Helmer said.

Construction on the new playground is scheduled to begin later this summer.

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