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Ernie Roberts Park, DeSoto’s first disability-friendly park, will be completed in December

Groundbreaking is set for Friday and the park is scheduled to be completed in December, officials say.

DeSoto will break ground Friday on Ernie Roberts Park, according to the city’s website.

Last year, DeSoto city officials adopted its Parks, Recreation, and Open-Space & Trails Master Plan, which identified the need to replace, enhance and expand the offerings of inclusive play within its playground system.

In June, the city council earmarked $500,000 to Whirlix Design to design and construct the playground at 515 Pleasant Run Road, between North Hampton Road and North Polk Street.

This park is designed as a place where disabled children can play, but will serve DeSoto entirely, according to the city. Park renderings show a playground with different inclusive elements, such as ramps, puzzles, a merry-go-round, a zipline swing, instruments and soft surfaces that make it easier for children with mobility devices to navigate.

“Most parks and playgrounds are designed with non-disabled children in mind,” assistant parks director Chase Ellis said in June. “Inclusive playgrounds ensure physical and social inclusion where everyone can play together. Inclusive play promotes understanding, reduces prejudices, and supports social integration.”

The groundbreaking ceremony is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, and city officials say the park will be completed by December.

Tyler Carter, Special Contributor. Tyler Carter is an adjusting Texan by way of Jackson, Miss., who is an avid lover of media, fitness, sports and telling impactful stories. Previously, he served as a trending/breaking news/crime reporter for AL.com and The Mississippi Press and adjunct professor at the University of South Alabama.

tycar2012@gmail.com @SIPmyTHOUGHTS
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