SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) – A Swampscott playground is getting a much-needed makeover and it’s all thanks to a little girl with cerebral palsy.

Work is underway to install a rubberized surface at the Abbott Park Playground to make it wheelchair-accessible.

The old surface was mulch and it wasn’t great for eight-year-old Stella Puzzo’s wheelchair, which used to get stuck.

stella2 Swampscott Girl Inspires Playground Renovation

Stella Puzzo (WBZ-TV)

“Stella would come out to recess and mainly stay on the hot top,” her mother Nicole said. “So to be able to have her access the whole playground and be with her friends or be participating in all the activities is just, we’re just so happy about it.”

On Tuesday, Stella got a chance to try the new surface out.

“I’m excited to play with my friends on this playground,” Stella said.

Gino Cresta leads Swampscott’s Public Works Department. Last year he pitched the $26,000 improvement, and it was approved unanimously at Town Meeting.

“She should be able to access this equipment just like every other student in the school,” said Cresta.

stella Swampscott Girl Inspires Playground Renovation

Stella Puzzo (WBZ-TV)

“It just makes me so happy for her,” Nicole said. “It’s pretty emotional to be able to watch her be able to access and I know that she’s going to have so much fun.”

The newly renovated playground should be ready for the new school year.


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