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Zoo Creates Playground for Children With Physical Disabilities
The Oklahoma City Zoo has something for everyone. And, recently the zoo started on a new project that helps children with physical disabilities feel even more at home.
"The zoo brings in about a million visitors a year; visitors of all shapes, sizes, Nationalities, and abilities," says Dana McCrory, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society.
Now, thanks to the zoo's partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, children with limited mobility have a place to play at the zoo. Everything in the $23,000 playground is designed for children in wheelchairs.
"They can use the monkey bars with their hands (and) pull themselves through. We have a swing that the wheelchairs can actually be strapped in, so they can get the motion of rocking back and forth. All of the other toys within the playground are at their eye level, so they can make music; they can play with the things they can crawl in," says McCrory.
"A lot of the public parks don't have the equipment or the funds to make a playground completely handicap accessible," says Candice Rennels, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the Oklahoma City Zoo.
"We wanted children with physical difficulties to be able to have a wonderful experience at the zoo," says Susan Adams, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oklahoma City.
The Zoological Society hopes this effort shows others across the state what can be done if different groups simply work together. "I hope that it inspires others to build something that all can play on," says McCrory.
The playground is set to open in late October. "Once word gets out, families will be out enjoying this special opportunity and the time together," says Rennels.
"Our zoo is already one of the top in the Nation. It's a phenomenal zoo and this just adds a little more sparkle to what we do here," says McCrory.
Posted: Sunday, October 14 2012, 09:19 AM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Search continues in creek for missing Okla. teen
May 25, 2013 22:59 GMT
KINGFISHER, Okla. (AP) -- Authorities continue to search for a Kingfisher teenager who disappeared after jumping into Uncle John Creek.
Police say 17-year-old Taylor Faine jumped into the creek Thursday and did not resurface. Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter told The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/10s2oB6 ) on Saturday that manmade dams have been built in hopes of finding Faine's body.
Authorities say Faine was swimming with friends in an area where no swimming signs are in place because of dangerous currents in the creek.
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