Little Rock’s first inclusive playground opens

Kids of all skill levels have a new place to play in Little Rock. City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at the new MacArthur Park inclusive playground on Thursday.

The playground, called “MacArthur Unlimited”, features plenty of play equipment accessible to children and adults of all abilities, including ziplines, slides, and carousels, as well as interactive sensory music components.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said it’s part of an ongoing effort to revitalize existing parks and build new ones throughout the city.

“Today is a fine example of public-private partnership. It’s a great example of residents coming together to figure out how to do something for our city,” Scott said. “We are so grateful to see this culmination of partnership, communication and collaboration with the ultimate goal of ensuring that we have a diverse and inclusive park here in East Little Rock as the gateway to the east of Little Rock.”

The project was funded by $750,000 in donations, with help from the Little Rock Outdoor Recreation Grant Program. The informal “MacPark Group” worked to raise funds for the project, which began in February.

Parks and Recreation Manager Leland Couch says it’s another highlight of the MacArthur Park area in downtown Little Rock’s east side.

“This project is a first for the City of Little Rock, for Little Rock Parks and Recreation. It’s an all-inclusive, unlimited playground for everyone to enjoy,” Couch said. “MacArthur Park is a great location, next to our Military Museum, Multi-Purpose Field, Dog Park, Fishing Pond, Inn, and the soon to be opened Art Museum of Arkansas .”

MacArthur Unlimited is the first such playground in Little Rock. The town of North Little Rock has two inclusive playgrounds, the last of which opened last December.

Harold B. McConnell