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County sets ribbon-cutting for super-duper playground

Henderson County commissioners, staffers and community members will hold a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, to celebrate the county's splendid new playground at Jackson Park, a colorful collection of slides, tunnels, shade tarps and more for kids of all ability levels.

"People that are coming to the park and just seeing it — it's gonna be a destination playground," Bruce Gilliam, the county's parks and recreation director, says in a county video on the project. "Visitors, community members — they're excited, the kids are seeing it. We're having a hard time keeping the kids off the playground right now but it's just a great project, well overdue, and we're just excited to be able to offer an all-inclusive playground to Henderson County."

The all-inclusive playground was a collaboration between the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, Pardee UNC Health, the Community Foundation, Special Needs Sports and private donors.

“This is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the private sector, local organizations and local governments work together," WNC Special Needs Sports founder Donnie Jones said in October when the groundbreaking was announced. "I am especially happy that it will be a place where kids are not separated by ability or disability. I have found that kids sort out these type things better than we do as adults. On behalf of Special Needs Sports, I want to thank the TDA for the grant toward the all-inclusive playground at Jackson Park.”