OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow officially opened the first ADA accessible playground in the city of Oswego today, July 12, in Hamilton Park.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, he was joined by representatives from ARISE and other local advocates.
Barlow first announced the construction of the new playground in his 2019 State of the City Address in January and citing the need to accommodate and include all Oswego residents while making decisions, crafting policies and improving the community.
The playground is designed to accommodate children 5-12 years of age with disabilities, is wheelchair accessible and includes a wheelchair accessible swing.
The new playground complements other recent improvements and investments made involving ADA accessibility throughout Oswego, including the installation of four wheelchair charging stations in city parks, an accessible splash pad constructed at the city pool, a wheelchair accessible overlook at Breitbeck Park and major improvements by the New York State Department of Transportation made to State Route 104 through Oswego.
“We’ve worked these last three years to make Oswego a more inclusive community and I believe we need to continue these efforts, making Oswego a better place for all,” Barlow said. “Representing and advocating for those with disabilities in our community is a cause I am personally passionate about and I intend to combine this passion with our efforts to improve our parks, making Oswego more unique than other nearby communities and being sure to consider all Oswego residents when making important decisions.”
Barlow said he is proud to open the ADA accessibly playground at Hamilton Park and will continue finding ways to make Oswego more inclusive and more accessible to all moving forward.
Betty Fazio, chief development officer of ARISE, applauded the opening of the new playground.
“On behalf of all children with disabilities who can now use the same playground as their peers, ARISE would like to thank Mayor Billy Barlow and the city of Oswego for their foresight! We also appreciate the support from Novelis for the ribbon cutting ceremony. When the city, non-profits, and private companies all work together, great things are achieved for our community,” she said.
hloe Joyce, a local 13-year-old accessibility and disability equality advocate, met with Mayor Barlow last year to discuss ways to improve accessibility throughout Oswego, was on hand to help open the playground.
“When I met with Mayor Barlow, we talked about changes to the environment that would make enjoying Oswego easy for people in wheelchairs. Mayor Barlow listened to my concerns and shared some of his plans. We have enjoyed finding improved parking, wheelchair charging stations, new curb cuts and now this beautiful park. I’d like to thank Mayor Barlow for his efforts and for inviting me to be a part of this transformation,” she said.
The new playground was purchased by the city of Oswego through Parkitects.
The city of Oswego DPW assisted with the installation and made adjustments to the nearby basketball court, sidewalk and parking spaces to ensure ADA accessibility.
The playground and installation cost approximately $120,000.