Fully accessible OurSpace park already making impact in Binghamton

OurSpace is located at Recreation Park in Binghamton

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - As we reported Thursday, Nexstar Broadcasting is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

To mark the accomplishment, Nexstar employees all across the country are volunteering their time, including us at WIVT and WBGH.

On Friday, NewsChannel 34 staff will be helping out at OurSpace.

It only opened last week and NewsChannel 34's Mike Tanzini shows us how OurSpace has already given joy to a family, who will no longer have to travel out of state to enjoy a day at the park.

9-year old Mather Ling is an energetic young man that just wants to play.

He was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect that does not allow the spinal cord to fully develop, limiting the use of his arms and legs.

In order to find a playground he could use, his father would have to drive him out of state.
    
"You can't imagine how many inaccessible places there are. Playgrounds are one of them," said Peter Ling, Martin's Father.

Last week, OurSpace was unveiled - a 4-acre fully accessible playground for people of all abilities at Recreation Park.

"At other playgrounds, maybe 1 or 2 things are accessible so it makes the play limited. When we come here, there are so many things to do and we can spend so much more time at this place," said Peter Ling.

When Mather comes to OurSpace, he knows exactly where he wants to go.

"I would do the merry go round and the Liberty Swing," said Mather Ling.

"He likes to be pushed on the Liberty Swing and we also go on the slide up there and I give him piggy back rides to get him back to his wheelchair," said Mari Stover-Ling, Mather's sister.

One of Mather's favorite spots is up here on the tree deck allows him to not only experience what it's like to be up in a tree, but it also gives him a full view of some of the things he can take advantage of.

But it's not just the equipment that puts a smile of Mather's face.

It's also the experience and inclusion.

"I feel like I'm safe and I'm secure...knowing that my friends come here, I can have fun," said Mather.

"They don't look at the wheelchair. They all accept him and it's really amazing," said Mari.

His father often watches Mather and Mari play together.

But there's something Peter has seen at OurSpace that he hasn't experienced at the other parks.

"For a parent to be able to see him be so independent and be able to choose where he wants to go and do what he wants to do is amazing," said Peter Ling.

Mather will continue to explore the jungle gym and climb up the rock.

Perhaps the most important part of OurSpace isn't a piece of equipment, but rather a sense of accomplishment for everyone.

Mather is also involved in Sled Hockey and takes part in frequent accessible sports activities put on by the B-Mets, B-Sens and Binghamton University.

On Friday, NewsChannel 34 employees will be adding the finishing touches including landscaping and signage to the park.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • 101 Days of Summer
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Work for Us!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Sports Connection
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center