Moments after he'd snipped the ribbon stretched across the gates of Kennesaw's first inclusive playground at Swift Cantrell Park on Thursday afternoon, a crowd of children stampeded past Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling and onto the slides and climbing features. City parks officials say the 18,500-square-foot playground has a surface that is more wheelchair accessible than the park's mulch-covered playground and has features for children with autism or sensory sensitivities, such as private areas to escape noise. Parks officials also say the playground welcomes children whether or not they have additional accessibility needs. The playground, construction on which began in late fall last year, cost the city about $450,000 and was funded through a special voter-approved 1% sales tax.

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