Popular all-inclusive playground in Canfield looking for parents’ feedback

Local News

The playground often gets overcrowded, which can be a problem for some kids

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A playground in Canfield needs feedback from parents, especially if their child has special needs.

The Walnut Grove on Route 46 is designed so all kids, regardless of ability, can play together. Now it’s working to make it a more welcoming place for everyone.

The playground has been open for a few years now, but it’s still very much a work in progress.

The nonprofit group is looking to make it better but it needs some community feedback to do that.

The Walnut Grove can get crowded on nice weekends and after school. Some people travel from out of town or even the state just to go to the popular playground.

However, that many kids in one place can be a problem for some children.

“Everybody loves the playground and that’s great. I’d say it’s probably one of the nicest premier playgrounds in the area, but it just gets completely overcrowded,” said Corey Patrick, president of the Walnut Grove board of directors. “For some of our individuals with special needs, especially kids with autism, that tends to be a sensory overload.”

The Walnut Grove is considering special times for children with autism who might have sensory sensitivities. It already has a special day for children with autism.

You can participate in an online community survey to give your feedback.

The playground is considering making some other changes and upgrades, including to the infrastructure of the park. It wants to expand parking and put in a bathroom.

The board said there are no plans for a splash pad anytime soon. Right now, there is only a small well on the property, and no access to city or country water.

“Long-term vision, there’s plans for miracle fields for soccer, baseball, adaptive sports. Long, long-term vision, there’s plans for some sort of facility to be able to do things indoors. That is a long way’s away,” Patrick said.

The Walnut Grove is run completely by volunteers who come and clean up the park. Eventually, the board wants to have someone who is responsible for that job.

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