Still Meadows School Integrates Playground with Nature

When designing a playground for children of all abilities, the typically large designs are still able to be integrated into the surrounding landscape. One playground that accomplished this is at Still Meadows Elementary School in Stamford, Conn. The playground is a testament to the determination of a parent in championing its development, and the creativity of a landscape architect in integrating the playground into a beautiful, wooded hillside.

In 1999, Frank Mercede embarked on a crusade to build a beyond accessible playground for his daughter, Jacklyn, and the other physically challenged children at Still Meadows Elementary School. Working with the playground designers at Landscape Structures, landscape architect, Phil Barlow, and the folks at Boundless Playgrounds®, Mercede designed an enormous 25,000 square-foot playground that is unlike anything else.

At the crest of the playground is a wheelchair-accessible tree house featuring an enclosed deck that is used by teachers to host classes. Cascading down from this vantage point is a series of play areas linked by walkways and poured-in-place surfacing. Two bridges overlook a man-made stream and waterfall, a picnic area protected by CoolToppers® shade systems and a wheelchair maze constructed from hedges. The site also features a Sway Fun® glider that allows children of all abilities to experience a swinging motion along with all of their friends.

If you’re looking to create a playground that truly embraces children of all abilities, contact your local Landscape Structures playground consultant. You can also browse our selection of beyond accessible designs to help give you some ideas for your project.

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