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Rescue Ranch

Earnhardt Family Playground Opens at Rescue Ranch

Members of the NASCAR community joined Ryan and Krissie Newman at Rescue Ranch on Friday, May 26 for a donor ribbon-cutting and naming ceremony for its new inclusive playground that spans over 10,000-sq. ft.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Dale Jr. Foundation, and a longtime Earnhardt family friend, the new inclusive playground will bear the name: The Earnhardt Family Playground dedicated by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his family.

(Left to right) Cathy Earnhardt-Watkins, Amy and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt-Miller, LW Miller, Brenda Jackson and Kerry Earnhardt were on hand on behalf of the Dale Jr. Foundation to dedicate the new inclusive playground at Rescue Ranch. [Photo Courtesy: Phil Cavali]
Supporting youth, nature and conservation, the Earnhardt family’s values go hand-and-hand with the mission of Rescue Ranch.

“It’s important to me and everyone involved with our foundation to give back to our community, particularly where we can have an impact on kids,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Ryan and Krissie have created an amazing place at Rescue Ranch that encourages a deeper respect and understanding for animals. The inclusive playground is just one piece, but I hope an important piece. If it contributes to the overall experience in any way, then it served its purpose.”

Three exceptional children classes from Lake Normal High School were the first to experience and test out The Earnhardt Family Playground. [Photo Courtesy: Phil Cavali]
It took just three months to raise the $550,000 needed to build the Earnhardt Family playground housed behind the nonprofit animal welfare organization.

The recreational area includes elements for children with all abilities, including eight wheelchair accessible activity centers, roller and sidewinder slides, sway fun, several climbing walls, one handicap-accessible zipline, custom play barn, swings equipped for children of all abilities and much more.

The inclusive playground concept was first brought to the Newmans’ attention back in December. Five months later, it is a reality and is the first of its kind in Iredell County. [Photo Courtesy: Phil Cavali]
“It brings us such joy to see children playing on The Earnhardt Family Playground for the first time today,” said Krissie Newman, co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization. “This playground couldn’t have come to fruition as quickly as it did without the support of our generous donors. Our family, staff and donors love this community and are elated that kids of all abilities will finally have a place to play together.”

The new playground will play a part in Rescue Ranch’s educational programs to promote respect for animals and responsible pet ownership, as well as agricultural, environmental and wildlife conservation by providing an additional place for all to play including Critter Campers, school groups and more.

Students had a blast on the Omni Spin thanks to generous donations made by the Harvick and Evernham families. [Photo Courtesy: Phil Cavali]
The public is invited to experience The Earnhardt Family Playground at a community ribbon-cutting Saturday, June 3, beginning at 10 a.m. ET and running until noon ET.

More information to come on additional public access opportunities and for more information, please call (704) 768-0909 or visit