Savannah's Playground to bring inclusive play to Myrtle Beach

Savannah's Playground to bring inclusive play to Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Market Common could have a one-of-a-kind play area for children within the next year.

"It's going to reach out and touch the people that need to have more opportunity to enjoy life," Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said.

Mayor Rhodes and Dan Lambert, an engineer with the Landart Company, presented their ideas at Tuesday's city council meeting for what will be called Savannah's Playground.

The main goal is to have an inclusive play area for children and even adults of all abilities to enjoy.

"I've done a lot of parks in the past but very rarely have they had even a handicapped accessible component, let alone have an entire playground, an entire park this large," Lambert said.

The plans include an early childhood park for children under the age of five and a separate school-age playground, both wheelchair accessible.

There will be interactive and musical play areas as well.

Savannah's Playground will also include a challenge ropes course and zip lining that allows anybody to take part no matter their abilities. All of the activities are expected to be free.

"I can't imagine that they would charge an admission with the facility because the intent is for it to be a non-profit facility," Lambert said.

The playground plans to make use of the existing lake next to Market Common by adding accessible paddle boats, fishing and other opportunities for all children to learn about the water.

It's all proposed to set up near the Crabtree Gymnasium.

"The location at Grand Park makes a lot of sense since there are so many other facilities that are well utilized, very much loved as far as the area goes, and it's the type of place that people will see," Lambert said.

Savannah's Playground isn't a city project because Mayor Rhodes said he wanted more freedom with the planning process.

It will cost $1 million. So far, the project has $300,000 in funding from the state and Horry County council members contributing recreation funds.

Construction should begin in January with part of the park opening by July.

"I can't tell you how excited I am because we're building something that will also open up a market for families that have children with special needs that would like to take a vacation," Mayor Rhodes said.

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