CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, County officials, and officers and members of the Trenton Rotary Club proudly opened the County's first barrier-free playground for disabled children June 21 at Mercer County Park.

A crowd of residents and supporters joined the County in the landmark grand opening, which will allow children with disabilities to have full access to playground equipment and to enjoy active play with their able-bodied peers.

"This beautiful playground is the result of great vision by the County and its partner, The Trenton Rotary Club," said Hughes. "We are so proud to have one of the only barrier-free playgrounds in New Jersey right here in Mercer County, so children with disabilities aren't left out and so that children of all abilities can play and be healthy together."

The barrier-free playground was constructed near the marina and lake at Mercer County Park over the past four months with the intent of ensuring that every child in Mercer County, no matter their physical limitations, can play at a playground.

The playground is designed specifically for children with physical disabilities, allowing them to use and access the play area. The ground beneath the playground is a flat rubber, non-toxic surface made from recycled tires as opposed to sand or wood chips. Other amenities include widened ramps and play areas, and easily reachable accessories like wheels and monkey bars. The playground is designed for children aged 2 through 12 and conforms to accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Rotary Club provided $100,000 in funding for the playground project and additional volunteer manpower to complete it in a timely manner. The total cost was approximately $568,000. The County's parks employees and some volunteers, who helped to keep the cost of the project down, did nearly all of the construction of the playground Hughes said.