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Kids Konnection Playground Hours:
7 days a week (except closed for day Christmas Eve, all day Christmas Day & Thanksgiving Day)
8 am - 5 pm November, December, January, February
8 am 6 pm March, April, September, October
8 am 7 pm May, June, July, August
CLOSED every MONDAY morning until 11:00am for maintenance
Call 985-867-9490 for more information

The KIDS Konnection Story

Susan McHugh was in her friend Michelle's kitchen when Michelle asked, "Susan has your son ever played on a playground before?" Those words rang in Susan's ears and filled her heart with sadness. She thought, "How can this be? How can I allow my child to miss out on the joy that playing on a playground brings?"

Susan and Wesley McHugh

When Susan and Tim's third son, Wesley, was one year old, he was diagnosed with a rare congenital muscle disease. Because of extremely low muscle tone, Wesley's weakened respiratory muscles resulted in many simple colds turning into serious lung infections. At age three, Wesley had a tracheotomy and was put on a ventilator to help him breath. Due to overall muscle weakness, Wesley cannot walk, so he uses an electric wheelchair to go where he wants.

Susan knew that because of Wesley's wheelchair, he would have limited access to many places. Susan wanted Wesley to have the opportunity to enjoy playing with his friends as much as possible, but she was having a difficult time finding places that accommodated a wheelchair.

It wasn't until Michelle asked her if Wesley had ever played on a playground, and she said "No," that it all became so apparently clear.

Michelle just recently had her third child, who was also born with special needs. Michelle told Susan of an article she had read about Boundless Playgrounds, special playgrounds designed so that all children of all abilities can play together. In January 2004, they gathered with other mothers like themselves and formed an executive board. They vowed that they would find a way to build this playground and named their group "Kids Konnection," for kids to connect through play.

Volunteers gather to construct the Kids Konnection Playground

They began to spread the word about their ambitious endeavor. They needed at least one acre of land in central St. Tammany to accommodate the playground, parking and handicap accessible rest rooms. With the help of Kevin Davis and the Tammany Trace, the land was donated. The parents raised the $438,000 in one year.

In the fall of 2007, with thousands of in-kind donations, over 500 volunteers gathered for three weekends to build south Louisiana's first totally accessible playground valued at $1 million.


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