Brittany’s Play Adventure becomes reality

The community came together last weekend to build an all-inclusive playground at Wild Horse Park.
Brittany’s Play Adventure started as just an idea of Lynly Grider’s, founder and executive director for Mustang Parks Foundation, for her sister-in-law Brittany Grider.
Brittany, 34, grew up in Mustang and now lives in Okarche at the Center of Family Love. She was born with Pallister-Killian mosaic syndrome (PKS), a rare genetic disorder that has Brittany functioning at a 3-4-year-old level.
“Just getting to know her over the years and getting to know the people in the special needs community, it made me aware of ways I could help,” Lynly said. “Not growing up in that community and not knowing much about the needs of special needs children, it was a way that I saw I could contribute and give back to that community. I could help build a playground that would let all children of all abilities play together in one space.”
The idea was then brought to Justin Battles and Jean Heasley of Parks and Recreation who loved the idea, Lynly said.
Battles and Heasley helped get them in touch with the right people to bring the idea to life, and assisted in finding the funding for it as well.
The City of Mustang is helping fund the playground, but Mustang High School students’ Broncos Empowering A Society Together fundraiser, also known as BEAST Week is helping pay for the entry way and signage.
The people Lynly got in contact with through the Parks and Recreation Department knew how to accommodate the needs for an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, all-inclusive play area and helped develop the idea of the design and bring it all together, she said.
“They got us to last weekend of building it and putting it out there,” Lynly said.
About 140 people volunteered for the two-day community build. Some of the volunteers included a youth group from Waterloo Road Baptist Church in Edmond, a group from PrimeSource Building Products, a group from Mustang Drug, a group from Life.Church Mustang, a group from The Well Church, people from Kimray Inc., and plenty of individuals.
“It was a good mix of people with a good mix of experience and willingness to jump in and do whatever needed to be done. It went great. We accomplished everything that we needed to accomplish to get it up and running soon.”
Lynly said she’s happy with how her original idea has developed.
“It’s overwhelming. Every step through this process has been a learning step but also just so special for me to see that people can get behind an idea and want to see it through because it’s their community too. They want to be involved because they see the need, they see the blessing it will be to other kids,” Lynly said. “It’s just personally overwhelming for me that it was embraced as quickly and as wholeheartedly as it was.”
Brittany hasn’t seen the playground yet, but Lynly said she’s anxious to bring her to see it.
“[Brittany] will probably be home next weekend so we’ll bring her out and let her take a ride on the zip line or on the swing and see what she thinks,” Lynly said. “She wouldn’t fully comprehend it if we showed her pictures. She would have to see it to understand what was going on. Whether or not she realizes it’s in her honor, I don’t know that she does, but I know when she gets out there she’s just going to light up and not want to leave.”
Cunningham Recreation, the distributor of the playground equipment, will have a construction team at the playground through the next two weeks to put down surfacing and do multiple safety checks before it opens to the public on June 3.
“Everybody was confident this weekend that June 3 would not be a problem at all,” Lynly said.
To celebrate the grand opening of the playground, Mustang Parks Foundation is hosting Family Fun Fest from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 3.
The event will first celebrate the season opening of the Wild Horse Farmers Market in the morning with live music, face painting and food trucks.
Around 11 a.m. will be the ribbon cutting and ceremony for Brittany’s Play Adventure and after that it’ll be “open for play.”
“That’ll be the time to come see it and experience it firsthand. We’re going to have all the activities going on and we’re also working on some special guest speakers to come out. We just really want a bunch of people to come out and enjoy it with us,” Lynly said.

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