Benson Automotive Kids Planet at Century Park

About Kids Planet

Many children consider television and video games their recreation. Greer wanted to encourage its citizens to "Get Outside and Play!" The result was a play area that has served as the model for preteen recreational areas across the Upstate.

The Parks History

In 1998, a planning team of 25 community volunteers worked under the leadership of the architectural firm of Leathers and Associates of Ithaca, New York, to design and plan a unique playground.   It took one year of raising funds, tweaking designs, amassing volunteers, buying lumber, and securing tools to literally build the structure from the ground up.  It was a moving sight when more than 3,000 volunteers from all walks of life came to build the playground in nine days in March of 1999.

 The play structure was an immediate success as hundreds poured into it daily. But the planning team encountered another challenge within six months of the opening — designing and building a second play structure for children with special needs and for children ages 2-5.   The new experts — children in wheelchairs, their parents, and therapists — devised a plan.  With the help of community volunteers, these hands-on experts, and the architectural firm of Learning Structures of Strafford, New Hampshire, they dreamed up every aspect of this unique playground. The construction of the accessible playground provided a second project for the community — and again it answered the call.  More than 700 volunteers built the playground in just five days in October of 2001.  Every apparatus was 100 percent accessible by children and adults in wheelchairs, and the equipment allowed children and adults of all abilities to play side-by-side.   

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