On Sunday, June 2, 2024, a dream became a reality! For twelve years former Bryan City Schools employee and current Bryan Parks and Recreation Board member Paula Kline, who worked with children of various abilities, wondered why her hometown of Bryan, Ohio, didn’t have its own inclusive playground. That all changed when the Lincoln Park Inclusive Playground, built on the former site of the Lincoln Elementary School, at 301 East Butler Street, Bryan held its grand opening celebration in early June.

Building of the new playground started in the fall of 2023, after individual donors, service groups, the Blizzard Auction, local corporate partners, and city and state grantees successfully raised more than $730,000. The Bryan Area Foundation was the fundraising partner for the City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Department, accepting and managing contributions through a project fund created by Kline. At her high school reunion, she encouraged her class to establish the fund to have an avenue to collect and save donations for when the City of Bryan Parks and Recreation Department would be ready to move forward with the project.

Incorporating the Seven Principles of Universal Design, the playground includes ramp entry points, a poured-in-place surface, braille and picture communication boards, a flush-to-ground merry-go-round, a zipline, expression swings, and more. Creating a destination where children and families of all physical, mental, and social abilities can learn, play, and grow together was the park’s goal, and the grand opening gave everyone who attended this experience. Music, a selfie booth, and free food, ice cream, and t-shirts were enjoyed by all.

Construction is underway for accessible bathrooms, and pavilions are planned for later in 2024. The playground is now open for all to enjoy, so “swing” by and check it out yourself. Additional funds are still being collected for future upgrades, and donations of all sizes are appreciated and welcome.

Thank you to all the generous donors, listed below, who made this possible.


Video credit to Erin Montgomery with Promote 419.