NewsLocal News


Northside park now offers Richmond’s only wheelchair accessible merry-go-round

Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 15:32:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- There’s a park in Richmond that’s trying to make things more friendly for those with disabilities. Park 365 is located on Richmond's Northside and opened in the summer of 2015.

It features state of the art playgrounds, a multi-sensory wall, even a wheelchair-accessible treehouse. You won't find another park in Richmond with all these accommodations in one place. Yet, the organization that runs it, SOAR365, an organization that focuses on individuals and families living with disabilities felt something was missing.

"What we didn't have though was an element that somebody in a wheelchair could relatively and easily get on and off," said Mike Foley, SOAR365 Assistant Vice President of Development.

But that is no longer the case.

Park 365 recently added the only merry-go-round for wheelchair-bound individuals in the city.

Here’s how it works according to Foley:

"An individual can roll in with a little bit of assistance, the person who's helping will then roll down a safety bar so that as you're moving, you're not going to have an issue. Plus, if you lock the wheelchair, you're going to be okay with that as well,” Foley explained.

The merry-go-round has room for two wheelchairs but also allows others to sit at the same time so that everyone can have a good time. Park 365 is open every day from dusk until dawn. This ride is like an old quote: "Life's just a merry-go-round."

"You look at it, if you're a kid, you're just going to get on it. But, I think in particular, as folks who are wheelchair-bound learn about it, or their caregivers learn about it, they're going to be able to have a blast on this thing," added Foley.

Park 365 is located at 3600 Saunders Avenue in Richmond.