First Playground Featuring New Unity Collection Opens at Lincoln Heights Park, North Carolina

Playworld Systems Unity at Lincoln HeightsA few weeks ago we wrote about our recent experience at the 2014 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Congress and Expo. One of the most rewarding experiences from our participation was partnering with NRPA for the Parks Build Community initiative at Charlotte’s Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park. NRPA’s Parks Build Community project demonstrates the transformative value of parks on the health and vitality of communities across America.

Playworld Systems donated equipment from the new Unity Collection as well as our popular electronic playground equipment: NEOS 360.  We also played a critical role in the grand opening festivities. Our donation, along with those from additional community partners enabled Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to expand the footprint of Lincoln Heights Park, bringing the power of unstructured free play to more children of all ages and abilities.

Playworld Systems Cruise Line at Lincoln HeightsPark planners with the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department worked hard all year with representatives from NRPA, Playworld Systems and other sponsor companies to revitalize the space in an underserved neighborhood. In addition to the playground equipment, the park features fitness equipment, a community garden, open play field, paved walking trail, bike rack, half-court basketball with a water fountain, ping-pong table and several picnic tables.

Land for the park, at Catherine Simmons Avenue and Madrid Street, was acquired by Mecklenburg County in 2004 and originally opened in 2011 as a 9/11 memorial project.

The grand opening ceremony at the nine-acre park featured entertainment by the West Charlotte High School Marching Lions, an honor guard and speeches by local dignitaries including county commissioners George Dunlap and Vilma Leake and Dena Diorio, county manager.

Kevin Cook of Playworld Systems speaking at Lincoln HeightsI was honored to speak at the ceremony. The energy from community members excited about their new park and playground equipment was infectious. It was evident that this group of people understood the positive impact of play and shared our belief that play is a powerful, uniting force.

My experience proves that where there’s a playground, there’s a community that gathers around. A playground becomes a central place, a gathering point for residents. After witnessing the enthusiasm and thankfulness from Lincoln Heights, I’m confident the new park will be well-used and appreciated for many years to come.

How does your local playground unite your community?

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