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New sound-based equipment aims to make Rotary Park fun for more children

By Reese Gordon
Jan. 19, 2014 at 10 p.m.

Visually impaired children will have new ways to play, thanks to sound-based equipment installed this past week at Rotary Park in Longview.

City crews installed the new equipment Tuesday, and the Longview Greggton Rotary Club is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Jan. 31 at the park, 500 Baylor Drive.

In addition to new wheelchair ramps, a "Cosmic Melody Line," a sound-based piece of equipment that can be used by children of all abilities, was installed, said Laura Hill, the city's director of community services.

"It has four music panels, including a bell, chime and horn sound," she said. "Kids can make whatever sounds they want with this."

Debbie Sadler, spokeswoman for the Rotary Club, said the project could not have happened without help.

"We could not have done this project without the city," she said. "There may be some people who don't even know about that park, and we definitely want to get the word out."

Hill said the Rotary Club applied for grant funding to buy the equipment this past spring. The grant totaled $3,552.

"This is an excellent example of the partnerships that help improve the quality of life of our citizens," she said. "We are very blessed that we have great community volunteer groups who care about the parks system."

It was about three years ago that Hill said she first saw the special playground equipment.

"I had actually seen it at a parks and recreation convention," she said. "I thought it was cool, and Rotary Park was originally built for special populations. I think children of all abilities should be able to play together."

Hill said community partnerships are vital to improve the parks in Longview as there is no city money budgeted for playground improvements.

Rotary Park is one of 33 parks in the city's system. For more information, visit



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