Inclusive playground open to all kids in Harrison, Arkansas

HARRISON, Ark. -- The Rotary Club of Harrison came up with the idea to create a playground next to Lake Harrison where children with special needs can play with their peers.

Eight-year-old Willa Crenshaw, who has cerebral palsy, was the first to go down the slide Friday morning on the official opening day.

The playground is named Wonder Willa Park in her honor.

"Willa is going to be able to play side by side with her peers, including her twin brother Chief. They were playing earlier," said Beth Crenshaw, Willa's mother.

The club received about $250,000 in grants, and more than $140,000 in community donations to make this dream a reality.

City leaders, Willa and her family, and other donors came out for the ribbon cutting Friday morning.

"I couldn't help but get tears in my eyes to think something that we thought that was impossible that we were still really going to try to focus on to make it happen, did happen because of all the community support," said Tiffany Watkins, the immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Harrison.

Many people paraded past the playground in cars after the ribbon cutting because of social distancing. ​

Read the original version of this article at