Inclusive playground re-opens after being damaged in Feb. floods

Posted at 10:48 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 23:48:33-04

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's been a long few months for some parents, but their child's favorite playground is back open. Mary's Magical Place was damaged in the February storms but after month's of repairs it's back open and kids are excited.

The sounds of fun can be heard around the Hendersonville park.

For three months, Mary's Magical Place was closed after storms damaged the playground's surface. The cost to repair was just under $300,000. Floodwaters ruined the turf and pour and place surface.

“It was horrible, every day the kids were like when it is going to open, when is going to open and finally I said it opens at 4 o'clock and we're going to be there,” said Rachel Wolff who brought her two children to the reopening.

The date for the playground changed a bit; there were also some delays with city officials looking for the best time to meet to allocate the insurance money to get the repairs started. But co-founder Rachel McAuley says after things were finally settled the park is now open again.

“We built it and they come and rebuild it and they come again and that's what we're looking forward to just seeing a lot of happy families,” said McAuley.

Mary's Magical Place originally opened in September of 2018, and it is an all-inclusive playground for all children including those with special needs.

“It is kind of close to our heart for my cousin who is wheeled chair bound, the kids, they kind of understand that she's special and she's in a wheel chair and they know that this place anyone can come,” said Wolff.

Family is what inspired the McAule’s to open this playground. Mary, the inspiration for the playground, died due to complications from cerebral palsy. She never got a chance to play at this park before she died but her spirit is clearly present.

“Mary was 14-years-old she passed away about three years ago, and one thing that she couldn't really do is play on the playground,” said Rachel McAuley.

“She's probably looking down right now saying look at all these children having a great time,” said McAuley.

The playground was also gifted with a grant from the Nashville Predators to install security cameras. McAuley says staff are also working on ideas to keep the playground safe from any future storms.