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Columbus inclusive playground getting much needed repairs

Playground tiles are among a few things that needs replaced.

Many of the missing tiles have been replaced, but the playground is showing its age. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

Columbus made headlines with its new Nexus Park fieldhouse this past year. A multi-million dollar recreation investment transformed a former mall.

Some parents such as Allie Burbrink said she's hoping the city won’t forget about its other parks.

“I just don't want our town to forget about the lowly playgrounds, you know, we have 12 little playgrounds, that maybe they just need a little bit of love.”

Burbrink’s son was born with a rare disease called Apert Syndrome.

“He had his fingers fused together when he was born, it's called syndactyly. His toes are still fused together. He has a different kind of gait when he walks, he's autistic, he doesn't always look where he's going,” Burbrink said.

Many of the missing tiles have been replaced.
Many of the missing tiles have been replaced. (Courtesy Photo)

They go to Freedom Field behind Parkside Elementary School, a playground built for kids with disabilities.

“We have a lot more options for him here, even just a big ramp, he can walk all the way up the big ramp and walk back down the big ramp.”

But the park is showing its age. And parents were worried about missing floor tiles and broken equipment injuries.

“We're so frustrated by it. You know, I just kind of stumbled upon it, noticed it, started asking questions. And so to hear other people say, yes, those are such a problem. Yes, we've had these issues with it. Yes, we've called so many times,” Burbrink said.

She started a petition on change.org that collected almost one-thousand signatures and the city, including Columbus Mayor Mary Ferdon, noticed.

“We should have and we did fix that. We've been in contact with the designer, we'll probably bring them back in and look at the design, it may be time to kind of update a lot of the playground,” Ferdon said.

Ask The Mayor: Columbus Ferdon on Freedom Field, Cummins layoffs, Sears building

The city replaced many of the tiles and fixed some of the equipment too, and parents hope the city will do more.

“I appreciate that group of, I think it's moms coming together and doing that. Right? That's mom-power. And so because it will be a public private partnership, we will need to raise some funds from the community to help do that,” Ferson said.

Burbrink said she’ll find volunteers to help.

“If you train us, give us some paint brushes or tell us what to do, we'll help.”

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