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Lawrence - Kansas Ryan Gray Playground, Hillcrest Elementary

Opened originally in 1993, the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children is a fully accessible community playground located at Hillcrest Elementary in Lawrence, KS. It was built in honor of Ryan Gray, a former Hillcrest student with disabilities who passed away in 1990.

The Ryan Gray Playground has the honor of also being the first fully accessible playground in the state of Kansas. However, after 20+ years, the playground needed to be rejuvenated and the desire was to increase accessibility and provide more play value and kid friendly exercise.

On October 1, 2016, Lawrence and the surrounding communities celebrated the re-opening of this amazing playground.

Budget $375k
Accessibility Universal Info Graphic
Age Range 2yrs - 12yrs
Location Lawrence, Kansas
Universal Playground Ryan Gray Playground is designed for all children of all abilities.
Out with the Old, In with the New Playground

More than 20 years old, the previous playground surface, surrounding landscaping and most of the specialized playground equipment was replaced. That meant out with the old slides and swings and in with more up-to-date play equipment with even more ways for children of all abilities to play together.

Changes to the playground included a circular design and more engaging play structures enabling children to play together. Signs and panels include directions in Braille.

Besides the sign at the entrance to the park featuring Ryan’s picture, the playground incorporates his love of the Jayhawks basketball team and celebrates the Jayhawks’ 1988 NCAA Championship. The arches leading to the playground represent each of the teams the Jayhawks beat on their way to the championship and the new playground poured-in-place surface features a huge basketball.

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Moving Playground
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