TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — While most playgrounds are accessible for children with disabilities, a new park in Toms River is hoping to become the model for inclusive playgrounds.
Construction continues on what will be a one-of-a-kind playground — the Toms River Field of Dreams.READ MORE: Attorney Says Current Whereabouts Of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's Fiancé, Are Unknown
It’s a playground that goes beyond accessibility. It will feature a wheelchair-friendly baseball field and ground-level merry-go-rounds, and every structure will be accessible by wheelchair.
Children with mobility impairments can play alongside their friends.
“When I can enter through the gates with my son Gavin and the rest of my family, I’m not the founder anymore … I’m just a dad here to play with his 10-year-old son,” said Field of Dreams co-founder Christian Kane.
“I can’t wait to see all the faces of the people that are going to enjoy this facility,” Field of Dreams co-founder Mary Kane said.
Christian and Mary Kane have been instrumental in the project for kids like their son, Gavin, who was the inspiration for the playground. Before he was even 2, he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. He’s now 10.READ MORE: Nearly 200 People Being Released From Rikers After Gov. Hochul Signs 'Less Is More Act,' Calls N.Y.'s Incarceration Rate 'A Point Of Shame'
For more than four years, they’ve designed the complex, gotten land approvals and raised more than $2 million. The final $400,000 came from the state budget. It ensured those with special needs will have a place to have fun.
“When it is done, it will be an extraordinary addition, clearly, to Toms River … but it will stand as a model and a statement to our entire state of the power of inclusion,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
The complex will also include individualized games and a pavilion with plenty of room for outdoor therapy.
“Justification of the last four years, of all the work that went into this, but it’s worth it. Because not only is it worth it for Gav, but you don’t realize how many people need this,” Christian Kane told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
When they finish this Field of Dreams, people will most definitely come.MORE NEWS: After Almost 2 Years, New York Philharmonic Returns For 180th Season
The Toms River Field of Dreams is expected to open this October.