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Rotarians Hear About Inclusion Park


McKENZIE (March 19) — Lori Dillahunty, chairperson of the Carroll County Inclusion Park, spoke to the Rotary Club of McKenzie on Tuesday, March 19. The non-profit organization is constructing a recreational area for people with limited mobilities and/or sensory issues.

The group raised funds through special events, from municipalities, and a major donation from the County of Carroll and the State of Tennessee.

She said it all started with the idea of at least having a swing designed for children with limited mobilities and soon, the ad hoc group of volunteers envisioned greater things. The board of volunteers started with a bake sale in 2021. As word spread, more and more people in the community would share their experiences of taking their children to other cities with inclusion parks so they could be included as other children play.

Support for the project was widespread with people eager to provide for those who are not always included in activities. The idea soon expanded beyond a single inclusive swing. The project raised more than $1 million to construct and maintain the special playground. The County of Carroll provided $400,000 and the Tennessee Art Commission, and the inclusive playground grant from the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Development Disabilities provided the final necessary funds to complete the fundraising. The Town of Huntingdon provided the real estate for the project.

Today, the new inclusive restrooms are constructed and included adjustable height sinks and changing table, suitable for children or adults. In the coming weeks, the concrete footings will be poured to accommodate the construction of the playground equipment. It’s all located just off Mustang Drive in Huntingdon and adjacent to Kelley Park.

Carroll County families and friends will benefit from this unique playground for children of all ages and abilities.

A grand opening is scheduled for August 10