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Trailhead Park closed as work begins on Tega Cay’s all-inclusive playground

Construction on an inclusive playground at Trailhead Park in Tega Cay will soon begin.

The All Play Together group’s project was born in 2016 when Fort Mill families looked for places where children, grandparents or anyone else with special needs or mobility concerns could play, The Herald previously reported.

“Our mission was to provide inclusive play space that would benefit everyone,” said Lori Christison, organizer with All Play Together. “Everybody can enjoy it together, learn from one another and celebrate diversity. When people who have different backgrounds and experiences come together, the community benefits.”

Trailhead Park is closed for site work to begin, according to the city. A detour around the construction for biking and walking is provided on the city’s website.

The park’s wheelchair swing and harness swing will be moved to Runde Park, according to the city. All other salvageable equipment will be moved to parks in Tega Cay.

Construction on the inclusive playground is expected to be completed by the end of November, according to the city.

The park will feature play structures with double wide ramps, rubberized surfacing for easy mobility, fences and play areas that meet a variety of needs, Christison said.

“We’ve worked for many years to reach this point and the board is very excited to be able to provide an inclusive playground in partnership with Tega Cay,” she said.

During the Sept. 16 meeting, Tega Cay City Council members voted to move forward with the project using money from the city’s hospitality tax (funds used for tourism promotion), said Charlie Funderburk, Tega Cay city manager. The funds will allow construction to begin while donated money continues to come in.

All Play Together has raised more than $410,000 toward the $450,000 park, Funderburk said. Coca-Cola of Rock Hill has pledged a $40,000 donation, to be paid over the next four years.

All Play Together has received $10,000 from Coca-Cola so far, Funderburk said. He said the city will contribute to the project and will be paid back as donated funds come in.

“It allows the project to have access to those funds a lot sooner,” Funderburk said.

The park is funded mainly through donations. Large donors like Daimler, Coca-Cola of Rock Hill, Ronald McDonald House Charities helped, along with the Fort Mill school district.

“The All Play Together board did a significant job in raising a lot money to make this happen,” Funderburk said.

The City of Tega Cay’s Park and Recreation Department also secured a $30,000 state grant, which will be partly matched by the city, Funderburk said.

“The project would not have been a reality without (the donors’) support,” Christison said.

The park will be the first of it’s kind in York County, Funderburk said.

“We’re excited about seeing children of all abilities being able to play together in a beautiful brand new facility,” he said. “It’s long overdue.”

Rock Hill also is bringing inclusive space with Miracle Park, the planned ball fields designed for players with special needs.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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