TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WFRV) – Two Rivers celebrated the grand opening of their all-inclusive playground Sunday morning.

After nearly three decades, Neshotah Park bid farewell to their old baseball diamond and the majority of their old playground to make room for a new, accessible play space.

Two Rivers Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mathis says, “It creates a great quality of life for everybody. Getting out, playing, and having physical fitness contributes to everybody’s lives and living a happy and long life.”

Having fun on the new equipment were 9-year-old Mary Veit from Manitowoc and 8-year-old Stella Gauger from Two Rivers.

Mary says, “I really like monkey bars and I like that it has a lot of them.”

Stella’s favorite was a spinning ride “because sometimes daddy pushed me really fast.”

The $400,000 project was a year in the making. Some accessible features include ramps surrounding the equipment, sensory areas high and low, and a rubbery Portaplay surface, which is safer than wood chips.

Mathis also says the surface will be more cost-effective in the long run.

“The Portaplay surface is a good financial investment because it can last a long time. There’s no annual replacement of wood chips. It was a big project for the city, but I think we’ll get a lot of returns out of it in the long run,” Mathis says.

Stella’s mom Ashley Gauger was excited to see her daughter using the new equipment for the first time. She says, “I think it’s a great location. We have a lot of people coming to Two Rivers and being that it’s really close to the beach, I think the accessibility for families is great.”

This city also recently approved the Parks and Rec Department’s master plan, which will include creating more accessible pathways and updating their concession stand in the future.