La Crosse residents give input on new all-abilities park plans

Trane Park slated to be overhauled as 'all-abilities' park designed for those with special needs

The public is getting a chance to weigh in on proposals for a new park in La Crosse for those with special needs.

Parks department officials held a public input meeting at Trane Park on the southside Wednesday evening.

The park is set to be completely overhauled and converted into an all-abilities park with equipment and activities for children and adults living with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities. The idea was originally proposed by the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Steve Carlyon says the park will be one of the only parks of its kind in Wisconsin.

“There are parks that call themselves inclusive, but that’s really about ADA requirements,” said Carlyon. “This is more about the opportunity for children and adults to come together with all kinds of folks and interact and be able to have fun.”

Park officials say the new park could become a destination spot, drawing families looking after kids and adults with special needs from across the area.

The project is expected to cost between $3.5 and $4 million and is currently included in the city’s next proposed capital improvement budget.