“I have never been more proud of anything, than I am of that park,” said West Columbia Mayor Pro-Tem, Tem Miles.
The Ribbon-Cutting for West Columbia’s Carraway Park at the Riverwalk – A Place for All Children to Play Together – is Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m. At that time, the All-Inclusive ADA Accessible Park will be opened to the public.
Miles daughter, Emma, has cerebral palsy and she is wheelchair bound. Miles said he will be able to take all three of his daughters to play in the new park. “It’s the first time in the City of West Columbia all kids of all abilities can play together at the same park,” said Miles. “Parents will not have to choose which child to play with.”
Riverbank Elementary School and Northside Middle School Special Needs classes will be in attendance for the opening of the park.
“I’d like to thank the students who are coming to the ribbon-cutting,” said Miles. “I’m very happy for them to be a part of the opening of the park.”
The parents of the students have been anticipating the opening of the park, too.
“We are very excited about the new park. We have ridden by many of times watching the progress,” said Brandi Murray. Her daughter, Natalie, is in the sixth grade at Northside Middle. “Natalie cannot wait to be able to have a park she can go to, to play.”
Brooke Ebener is a teacher assistant in a special education class at Riverbank Elementary. The students in the class are planning to attend the ribbon-cutting on Oct. 30. “The special education community Is really looking forward to the opening of the new inclusive park,” Ebner said. “It will provide opportunities for all children to play together.
Lisa freeman is the parent of Carrie, an eighth-grade special needs student at Northside.
“I look forward to taking my daughter to the park so she can enjoy the amenities that the park offers to children with special needs,” Freeman said. “Carrie loves the outdoors and will enjoy the butterfly garden and the zipline. We can’t wait to play there.”
West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton characterized the park as a “game-changer” for The River District.
“It’s so unique,” said Horton. “There are not many like it. It will attract visitors from the local area and the region. And that gives us an opportunity to show all that the West Columbia Community has to offer to parents and children of all abilities. It’s something we can all be proud of. And it could not have happened without the commitment of a lot of dedicated people.”
Miles said in addition to the park, almost 80 new parking spaces will be available. He also said parts of Norfolk and Carpenter streets will be getting repaved. He said funding has also been approved for more paving in the area around the park, and that will enhance parking opportunities for Riverwalk.