Review Detail

 
A Dream Come True Playground
Places to Go
by Rochelle     July 11, 2014    
(Updated: July 12, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Overall Quality 
 
5.0
Physical Accessibility 
 
4.0

Best accessible playground we've visited so far

Quality

We visited this playground after I found it listed as #30 on a list of top 30 accessible playgrounds in the world. (http://www.special-education-degree.net/30-most-impressive-accessible-and-inclusive-playgrounds/) It has a lot of really thoughtful ideas, such as incorporating sounds and touch, as well as the usual play structures. Features include a sensory garden, two major play structures (one ramped), an area with a track, plastic musical instruments, play panels at ground level, a couple of ways to play sound effects, a faux-rock fountain, a ball hoop, a chalk wall, a couple of picnic areas (with lots of accessible tables), a hammock, and three types of swings (standard, the big plastic adaptive kind, and a Liberty swing for wheelchairs - but note that the Liberty swing requires you to get a key and the playground attendant is not always on duty; when we were there on a Saturday evening, they were not, so we were not able to check this feature out). My 13-year-old was still fairly limited in what she could do, because she is so limited in the use of her arms. There were three features she really enjoyed: the plastic adaptive swing, the hammock, and driving under the weeping willow in the sensory garden (at least until I whacked her in the face with it...). Kids with more use of their arms will find more to do. (The play panels are kind of lame, though.) My five-year-old loved it and announced that she wanted to live there! But even the 13-year-old said she'd like to go back.

Accessibility

The feature *I* appreciated most about this park was the fold-down changing table in the family restroom that was big enough to accommodate an adult - I've never seen one before, and now I'm greedy for more! There were some areas that I was disappointed in - with just a *leetle* more work, they could have been even better. There is a rock with buttons that you can push to play sound effects, but all the buttons are too low to reach from a wheelchair. The faux-rock fountain, while clearly designed to be played with, was also too low for my daughter to reach. There are buttons in the ground under the rainbow-colored hoops at the entrance that also play sound effects, but they are almost impossible to set off with a wheelchair. There are huge platforms at the top of the slides on the wheelchair-accessible structure which might make it easier for kids with some mobility to scoot from their chairs, but for us they were actually a hindrance. (It might have been good if they could have done one with, one without.) And I was a bit frustrated that there was no way to spin a kid who doesn't have full body control (there are some spinning things in a mulched area, but nothing you could get to with a wheelchair or that would offer any support once you got there). For those reasons, I decided to knock a star off the accessibility - although if it were an option, I might have only gone with a half star, because overall, this really is a pretty awesome accessible playground. Oh yeah, and plenty of handicapped parking spaces, too!

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