Highly anticipated inclusive playground opens at Town Common

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The long awaited inclusive playground at the Greenville Town Common had its opening ceremony Saturday morning.

Hundreds turned out to get a first look at the state-of-the-art equipment

Trillium project manager Amy Corbitt said it’s a playground for everybody.“All individuals all ages all abilities can come play together.”

“All individuals, all ages, all abilities can come play together,” Corbitt said.’

12-year-old Emma Shifflett said regular playgrounds just weren’t fun for her.

“It wasn’t very accessible because I had to get out of my wheelchair to get on the swing and go down the slide,” said Shifflett

Thanks to a $750,000 donation from Trillium Health and other local donations, kids like Emma can now play just like anyone else.

And it was Emma who brought the project full circle

“When we first started the project I wanted the feedback from a child that was in a wheelchair, and I knew that Emma could tell me exactly what she wanted,” said Corbitt. “When we took her to the regular playground she just looked around and said, you know what I want to swing.”

Emma’s dream came true.

“I was really happy because I got to get in a swing,” said Shifflett

A $16,000 ‘Liberty Swing’ came all the way from Australia to accommodate people in wheelchairs.

Emma said she’s happy she can swing, but it’s not all about her.

“Kids that have disabilities like me…they’ll have fun at this park because there are a lot more stuff they can do,” Shifflett explained.

Many parents like Patte Whitefield agree this new park will open new doors for children.

“When kids have to sit to the side it’s not level, so for us, these parks are absolutely amazing,” said Whitefield

For now and for years to come Emma said she knows exactly where she’ll be.

“I’m zip lining,” she said.

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