City of Bryan Announces Lincoln Park Inclusive Playground

Developers hope to break ground on the former Lincoln Elementary School grounds in fall 2023 and open to the public in spring 2024.

BRYAN, Ohio – The Bryan Parks and Recreation Department announced that the site of the former Lincoln Elementary School would become an inclusive playground, with plans to break ground in construction in fall 2023 and open to the public in spring 2024.

The playground is the brainchild of Parks and Rec board member Paula Kline, a former Bryan City Schools teacher, who noticed there was no accessible playground to the handicapped children whom she taught.

“We always had to go an hour’s drive to a park where we could actually play,” Kline said.

The new park will be made possible by a $50,000 grant through the Greater Toledo Fitness Center. Bryan Area Foundation president and CEO Amy Miller said the playground is part of the city’s plan to bring more people to the east end.

“A lot of our programs and parks are on the west side of town,” Miller said. “It’s a really good way to really put something great on the east side of our city. It’s going to be a really good hub for that.”

With the closest inclusive playgrounds an hour away in either Perrysburg or Fort Wayne, residents of places like Bryan find themselves in a tough spot.

Parks and Recreation Director Ben Dominique said the park is one way to solve this problem.

“It’s a need,” said Dominique. “That’s what’s important to me. We want to fill a need for our community. We really feel there’s a need for an inclusive playground. We want to make sure we can provide that.”

Paula said the playground will be a dream come true for children when it opens.

“I cry every time I pass by here,” Kline said. “So I’m really, really excited, filled with joy.”

The Bryan Area Foundation accepts donations for the playground. They ask donors to include “inclusive playground” in the designation line.

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Harold B. McConnell