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Inclusive Playground Unveiled at Pocono Raceway

TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. — There’s a new attraction this year at Pocono Raceway near Long Pond: a giant 5,000 square-foot playground. “I like...

TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- There's a new attraction this year at Pocono Raceway near Long Pond: a giant 5,000 square-foot playground.

"I like this thing here. It's so bouncy," said 5-year-old Kennedy Igdalsky.

This isn't your typical swing set. This inclusive playground is designed to give all children, including those with sensory and mobile issues, a safe place to play.

Pocono Raceway is now the first race track in the country to house this kind of playground in its infield.

"One in five people in the United States alone are affected by a disability, so why leave anyone out?" said Nick Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway CEO.

The playground was made possible through partnerships with Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau and KultureCity, a national nonprofit that focuses on accessibility.

Christopher Jackson, an actor and Tony Award nominee for his role as George Washington in the Broadway show "Hamilton," is a board member for the nonprofit.  He also has a son who will benefit from this play space.

"As a father of a 13 year old who loves NASCAR, but we have never given it a second thought to bring him to a race because of all of his obvious issues. Things are too loud. There are too many people. It's hard for him to adjust and really focus on what he came here for. It offers a quiet space, support. It allows everyone to be included and take part in such an amazing event," said Jackson.

This playground won't be the only new attraction to this area. A new pavilion will be built next year.

"We are going to be able to have a visitor's center on site to talk to race fans while they are here to get them to know all the things in the Pocono Mountains through our four counties," said Brian Bossuyt, Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau.

The playground will be open to guests on race weekends. It will also be open and free to use for local residents during non-race weekend events.