New playground in Old Bethpage has equipment for kids with special needs

Stacey Sager Image
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
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Stacey Sager has the latest details.

OLD BETHPAGE, Long Island (WABC) -- A playground on Long Island has been outfitted to welcome children with special needs.

The inclusive playground at Haypath Park in Old Bethpage is one of only a handful to feature the special equipment.

For the Clyne family, especially 8-year-old Michael who's living with autism, playgrounds can be tough to navigate.

This one has some wonderful features.

"It's just more open, which is something really important for my child, makes it less constricting," said Jeanie Clyne, Michael's mother.

It's called the Haypath Inclusive Playground where kids with special needs can do all the same things as their friends, or siblings. No one has to feel different and the kids who don't have special needs also love it.

There are plenty of lights and sounds to engage everyone.

ALL of the new equipment has been built low enough for someone unable to walk.

The playground's surface, called Fibar, is soft enough to break a fall, but firm enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

The playground was mostly build by women over the weekend.

The young women from the Junior League of Long Island raised $30,000 to pay for it, and then collaborated with the Town of Oyster Bay to get the job done.

"From 7:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon, we got out here, we got sweaty, got our hands dirty, we built a playground," said Deidre Delay, Junior League of Long Island.

"We had a community need, an organization that wanted to help, and a government that was willing to listen and cooperate," said Rebecca Alesia, Oyster Bay Councilwoman.

The reward is years of joy, but most importantly confidence building at a time when some kids need it most.