KENNEWICK, Wash. — A bittersweet day for the city of Kennewick... Thursday is the last day the Playground of Dreams will be open.
But, come Memorial Day the playground will be bigger and better than ever.
The new playground was designed with inclusiveness in mind so children of all abilities can play.
The Playground of Dreams has a rich history in Kennewick, and for many, brings back childhood memories.
“When I was little we used to play here all the time,” said Aiden Ray, who used to go to the park after getting off the bus.
It was built by community members after the original was set on fire in 2003, but the playground is outdated, and inaccessible for those with disabilities.
“The structure has just about outlived its lifespan,” said Emily Estes-Cross with Kennewick Parks and Recreation.
So it's time for a makeover. The new playground of dreams will have swings, slides, a new hydroplane, a zip track, cable bridge and lighthouse.
Community members like Andy Sewell and his family had to stop by on the playground's last day. Sewell played at the playground of dreams as a kid himself.
“It's great that it's accessible to everybody because everyone deserves to play and be happy and enjoy it,” said Sewell.
Phase one of the playground will be finished in November.
The new playground will be built with durable materials, so the kids enjoying it today can play with their children.
“The new playground will have surfaces that can be navigated by wheelchairs and kids with different levels of mobility,” said Estes-Cross.
The new park will be open for full play on Memorial Day.
There were pickets lining the playground as a fence. Those have been removed. Some of those pickets were in memorial of a loved one. If one of those pickets is yours, you can claim it from Kennewick Parks and Recreation using this link. After it’s claimed you can pick pickets up at the Southridge Sports Complex during business hours.