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Trane All-Abilities Park opens



Running, climbing, going down a slide, spinning on a merry-go-round…     or making music on xylophones. 

There’s plenty to do inside the new Trane All-Abilities Park, which had its grand opening in south La Crosse on Wednesday. 

Fran Formanek was one leader of the campaign to build the special play area, while he was on the La Crosse city council, “with three individuals that had children with special needs, looking for a place that was safe for their kids to go to.”    

Formanek says the playground plan was originally intended for Powell Park, next to West Avenue, but that spot was considered too busy.  Trane Park is within two blocks of South Avenue.    

Dozens of kids and parents gathered at Trane Park on Wednesday for the ribbon cutting on the $4 million project, nearly three years after the ground-breaking. 

Amy Hendrickson from the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation has been working on the park plans, and hopes that people in the community can be allies in supporting the park.

“Demonstrate self-awareness,” she said. “Understand and connect, and adopt behaviors to support one another.”   

Much of the equipment at Trane Park is designed to be used by young and old people with varying levels of physical ability, and soft rubbery surfaces have been installed beneath most of the play equipment.    

An exercise area for older visitors was added late in the planning stages, with assistance from AARP, and a zipline and other features will be added soon.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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