Perryville, MO 4th grader behind the idea for inclusive playground

Perryville, MO 4th grader behind the idea for inclusive playground
Lucas Fritche (Source: Perry County School District 32)
Lucas Fritche (Source: Perry County School District 32)
Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure (Source: Perry County School District)
Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure (Source: Perry County School District)
Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure (Source: Perry County School District)
Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure (Source: Perry County School District)

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - A 10-year-old Perryville, Missouri boy and his big dreams are behind a new inclusive playground coming to the city.

The City of Perryville has donated the land for The Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure Playground, which will be located near the new splash pad the city is building in Robert J. Miget Memorial Park.

Lucas Fritsche is in 4th grade at Perryville Elementary School. When in 3rd grade, Lucas presented an idea to the Parents Involved In Education group to address accessibility issues on the elementary school playground.

"My friends Arawn and Azriel use wheelchairs, and they need to be able to play with everyone else," Lucas said. "We can't be happy unless we're all happy and able to play together!"

His parents John and Jennifer love Lucas's big heart. Lucas is a child with autism, which his mom says helps to stay focused on things important to him.

"Lucas has been talking constantly for several years about making sure all children can play together," said Jennifer Fritsche. "It's really important to him. When he first asked if we could help build a new playground, I didn't imagine that we'd actually be doing it."

"The Backyard Adventure is designed around parallel play, all children will be able to access the same areas and the same equipment, she said. ""There will be a large play structure which will include slides, swings, and shaded areas."

Jennifer Fritsche said the Perry Co. Board for the Developmentally Disabled has pledged $50,000 for the project, The goal for the playground is $1 million.

They hope to open in spring 2019.

A Masquerade Ball fundraiser will be on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Robinson Event Center. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple and can be purchased online at or at Ulrich Insurance Agency.

Anyone who would like to support the Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventure can contact Jennifer Fritsche by email.

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