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Accessible playground opens at Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park Accessible Playground
Posted at 10:42 AM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 11:42:14-04

FISH CREEK (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources opened the Nicolet Beach Playground, a new fully accessible playground at Peninsula State Park.

The previous wooden playground was deemed unsafe and beyond repair in May of 2021. Fundraising efforts for a new replacement playground started as soon as the structure closed.

“Our amazing Friends group here at Peninsula State Park immediately jumped on this project to assist the park to fundraise and replace the aging playground with a new accessible playground,” said Eric Hyde, Peninsula State Park Superintendent. “The outdoors are for all, and now people of all abilities have a new space at the park to enjoy.”

The new Nicolet Beach Playground has flat surfaces, interactive equipment, a flush-mounted merry-go-round, a universal swing, rain wheel and music elements making the playground fully accessible for users of abilities.

Bill Pennoyer and Judy Oritz from the Friends of Peninsula State Park oversaw the playground renovation and spent hours working with contractors on the design and construction.

“I am extremely grateful for the much-needed playground,” said Judy Ortiz, Secretary of the Friends of Peninsula State Park. “So many campers with children will spend many hours on this playground. Many people have told me how much they missed having a playground on the beach. I want to thank all the donors for their generous outpouring of gifts. One donor said it all when they said, ‘We will all enjoy this gift, the noises of children.’”

The new playground is one of the recent accessibility improvements at the park. Eagle Tower was the first, with it being the first fully accessible observation town in the Wisconsin State Park System.

Visitors to Peninsula State Park may use the playground at Nicolet Beach for free. However, a Wisconsin State Parks and Forest vehicle admission pass is required to enter Peninsula State Park.

Parking is available near the beach, and visitors can access it from various hiking and biking trails throughout the park.