GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo is officially celebrating the start of construction on an inclusive playground for children of all abilities.
Crews broke ground Wednesday on the universally designed playground, which will be accessible to all guests and include sensory features for those who are visually impaired.
John Ball Zoo says it reached out to more than 5,000 residents surrounding the zoo for input on the project’s design and location. The playground is part of the zoo’s yearslong transformation project.
Zoo officials say the new playground will be a place where the community can connect.
“Playgrounds are a really special place. They are a place where people gather, where people explore um and where we can really come together as one away from screens, away from wifi and really experience that togetherness as well as the joy of nature and play,” said Michael Lomonaco, chief development and community engagement officer for the John Ball Zoo.
The new playground will be located on the southeast side of John Ball Zoo’s park, near Sacred Heart Academy.
The zoo expects the playground to be complete in September, with a ribbon cutting slated in October.