Hillsborough County opens largest adaptive playground

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A new playground opened in Tampa on Friday. It’s 10,000 square feet and is Hillsborough County’s largest adaptive playground.

“This is for everyone,” said Rick Valdez, the director of Hillsborough County’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The playground is not only adaptive for children with disabilities, but it’s inclusive as well.

“We have playground amenities that people in wheelchairs can go on and participate (in), and then we have walls that more able body kids can go on and climb,” added Valdez.

This project has been two years in the making. It offers traditional playground equipment like swings and slides, but also equipment for those with disabilities or sensory needs.

It’s located at the Lesley ‘Les’ Miller Jr. All People’s Community Park and Life Center on E. Sligh Avenue near King High School.

While the new playground is open, the Parks and Rec department will continue their work by adding a splash pad to the area. Valdez tells 8 On Your Side they hope to have the splash pad completed within a year.

The playground was also dedicated in memory of Rebecca “Becki’’ Forsell. After a car accident left her legally blind in 1996, Forsell founded For Eyes Only, a support group for individuals with sight impairments. She later founded Yes! Of American United, which helps empower, educate, and enrich all people with disabilities.

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