Amid a little sunshine and a large crowd, a new park was dedicated in Salina Friday morning.
The new Center Street Park, featuring Olivia’s Playground, is now open at the intersection of Center and Fourth streets in central Salina. The park is a project of the Salina Regional Health Center Foundation.
Located alongside the Smoky Hill River Channel across from Oakdale Park, near many downtown attractions, Center Street Park provides an inclusive space for all ages and abilities to exercise and play together. Features include the multi-generational Olivia’s Playground, Yalp Sona Play Arch, Thrive 450 fitness structure and a quarter-mile walking/running path.
The commitment to establish Olivia’s Playground was sparked by Sid and Susy Reitz, Salina, whose granddaughter Olivia Bloomfield from Leawood, Kan., has used a motorized wheelchair since she was a toddler. After witnessing the sheer joy and excitement of Olivia and other children playing together at her hometown inclusive playground, the seed was planted and expanded upon to provide an inclusive playground in Salina specifically designed so that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to play, interact and have fun.
Olivia Bloomfield was at the dedication. She thanked the Salina community “for believing in all kids”, and gleefully proclaimed to all “let’s play”!
The Foundation formally announced its plans for the project in November 2018, along with a capital campaign to fund the $1.246 million project.
The 3.3 acre site for the park was already owned by the Foundation. The park will continue to be owned and maintained by the Foundation and open to the public.
The park is designated as a 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design & Outdoor Adult Fitness National Demonstration Site, based on its design and usage best practices.
The Salina Noon Network Ambucs brought a couple of their amtryke adaptive tricycles to the event. Ava Scritchfield of Salina was presented one of them. Little Ava was all smiles as she rode her new tryke around the path at the park.