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New Mary Free Bed playground

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 16:48:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — “Mary’s Therapy Playground” is the newest remodeled and expanded playground inside Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

The new growth comes as part of Mary Free Bed’s choice to establish their own kitchen, thereby serving all of their patients nutritional needs.

“The new space is bright, fun and open,” said Andrea Dennis, a physical therapist on the Mary Free Bed Kids outpatient team. “And the enclosed space will allow us to use the playground year-round.”

Currently the equipment allows patients to work on coordination and motor skills via climbing structure, “musical elements” and gear panels.

“A huge benefit for therapy is the additional space,” she said. “The playground’s different elements allow for us to work on functional mobility skills while also having fun. The ramp has been helpful for wheelchair training and ramp navigation with children using assistive devices. The large stairs on the loft help with climbing and preparing kids for bus-stair negotiation, and the climbing wall is an excellent strengthening activity but appealing to kids.”

Initially the playground was part of the Mary Free Bed Foundation’s Therapeutic Healing Gardens.

Mary’s Therapy Playground initially was part of the project funded by donors.