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Jim Nutter Park provides a place for all to play

The Ivanhoe neighborhood of Kansas City has a new playground designed to be used by all children, including those with disabilities.

The brightly colored play equipment is in Jim Nutter Park at 3700 Woodland Ave., next to the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council offices.

It was built with the help of a $75,000 donation from the CVS Caremark drugstore chain.

About 200 people attended the playground’s dedication Saturday afternoon after volunteers from CVS Caremark and Metro Lutheran Ministry completed the installation.

“Any neighborhood, anywhere, would love to have something like this,” said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, one of several dignitaries speaking. “Anytime you want power, you get together. You have people power here in Ivanhoe.”

The playground is one of 50 developed around the nation by CVS Caremark. About $4 million has been donated by the company so far for the endeavor.

The Kansas City playground was the first to be developed with Boundless Playgrounds, a nonprofit dedicated to building inclusive playgrounds for children of all abilities.

“One of the things that are important to us is children with disabilities,” said Wayne Lum, regional sales manager for CVS. “It was important to identify a neighborhood that had children with disabilities so we could build a playground where all children can play.”

Marlene Leonce, a city employee who lives in the neighborhood, said her 7-year-old son, Caleb, would enjoy the new equipment.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, I’m thrilled to have a place in our neighborhood that’s fully inclusive,” she said. “Children can learn to respect the unique abilities of each other.”

Margaret May, president of the neighborhood association, also thanked Jim Nutter Sr., who not only helped build the private park two years ago but was instrumental in acquiring and renovating the adjoining community center in the 1990s.

May said the group still has to raise about $20,000 to complete the playground job. Home Depot also was credited with providing supplies for the project.

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