Emerald Fields one of two Inclusive Playgrounds in Dublin, OH

Entrance to the ramped structure at emerald fields, an inclusive playground

In Dublin, Ohio families have the choice of two very different inclusive playgrounds.  This week we are highlighting Emerald Fields and next week we will highlight the playground at the Miracle League Field.

The City of Dublin built Emerald Fields Playground, a universally accessible playground, with grant money awarded by the state. While the play area is designed for children with special needs, children of all physical-skill levels, from toddlers through elementary school-aged kids love to play here.

At the entrance of the playground is a NEOS 360. This giant circular play station incorporates lights and music to test eye-ear-hand-foot coordination, and cardio levels. NEOS is fun for young children as well as teenagers and adults. It is designed to make it easy for people who use wheelchairs to play alongside their friends.

According to Kristen Maetzold in Columbus Parents, Playground Patrol, “Those skills will serve kids well as they move on to the sprawling playground. Like a life-sized game of Chutes & Ladders, generous purple ramps and bridges connect a bevy of brightly colored slides and various climbing structures. Tucked underneath it all is a series of fun games that test knowledge of numbers, shapes, colors, and patience, including a brilliantly designed scavenger hunt.”

The playground has other sensory activities including a teeter-totter, spin cup, music station, places to balance and bounce, even the chance to climb a rope ladder or a rock wall.

For children who love to swing, this is the place to come. No waiting in line to get a swing in this park where there are a dozen swings! In addition to the belt seat swings, there are toddler swings and accessible swing seats to ensure everyone can have the pleasure of swinging.

The playground was designed and installed by Playworld Midstates, a leader in inclusive design using  equipment from Playworld Systems.

Here are children playing at Emerald Fields on its grand opening day:

DCVB – Emerald Fields Park from Dublin, Ohio, USA on Vimeo.


You can see great pictures of two children exploring the playground on Beatrice and Augustus’s blog.


The playground is located at 4040 Wyandotte Woods Blvd. (near the intersection of Sawmill and Hard roads) in Dublin, OH.  See map:
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Ft. Leavenworth home to Lewis & Clark inclusive playground

After many years of planning a vision and a dream have become reality. Cre8Play, the folks at Cunningham Recreation, and the Exceptional Family’s Member Program joined forces to create a Barrier Free playground for children of all abilities.

The Exceptional Family Member Program or EFMP is a mandatory U.S. Department of Defense enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services worldwide to U.S. military families with special needs.

The Play Structures are custom themed after famous explorers Lewis & Clark. This inclusive playground located on the Fort Leavenworth U.S. Army base includes a larger than life Bison Climber, A TeePee Climber and a Lewis and Clark Keelboat.

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Idaho home to an inclusive playground built by hundreds of volunteers

Jonny and Melissa Fisher were inspired by their daughter, Brooklyn, who has spina biffida, to create a playground where children of all abilities could play together. Together the Fishers spearheaded a volunteer based committee to raise $525,000, recruit thousands of volunteers and complete an amazing 20,000 square feet play space that accommodates all children, regardless of their abilities.

Brooklyn’s Playground was built in just five days in September 2011.  It is located on the border of Pocatello and Chubbuck, Idaho.  Leathers and Associates was the communities choice of playground designers and community build experts to help them accomplish the tasks.  Brooklyn’s Playground has an excellent website that demonstrates how a website can tell a story, recruit volunteers and motivate a community.

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Accessible Playground in Devon, UK

In honor of the 2010 Olympics in London, this week’s spot lighted playground is in Devon, England.  The Playpark is located at the King George V Playing field on Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 6HE – behind Countess Wear Hotel.

According to their website, “This is an inclusive playground where the equipment is almost all wheelchair accessible. The equipment is designed to encourage co-operative play and is large enough to be used by older disabled children who may need more space for wheelchairs and sometimes helpers.A safe community space due to adequate fencing and gates, it contains sensory equipment such as sand, textured surfacing and sensory planting, along with tactile signs for less well sighted visitors and pictorial signs for people with learning difficulties.

There website provides a lot of helpful information including which company supplied the unique pieces to assist another group looking to replicate their efforts.  They also have Widget symbol sheets that can be used to prepare a child with autism for the playground or to be used by a child who is non-verbal at the playground.

Here are some aspects of the playground:

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The website has two videos about the playground.  Below is the short 1 minute one.  If you are interested in the 15 minute video, click here and go to the bottom of the page.

Recently seven new mural panels made by over a hundred local schoolchildren of all abilities, with the help of talented North Devon artist Karen Hawkins were added to the playground.

Taylor’s Dream: Inclusive Playground in Fort Wayne makes dreams come true

Taylor’s Dream located in Krieger Park in Fort Wayne, IN is a fantastic inclusive playground.  It was conceived by an 11 year old girl who thought that all children should have a place to play.  The exciting features include:

  • an Areoglider which enables children using a wheelchair to glide along side their friends
  • NEOS, a game that brings people of all ages and abilities together
  • A water play area with products from Vortex

The playground was designed by Playworld Midstates with equipment from Playworld Systems.  Enjoy the pictures of this week’s Playground of the Week:

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Video Tour: Common Ground Playground, an inclusive playground in Lakeland, FL

Common Ground Playground in Lakeland is a beautiful playground located at Edgewood Park. The park itself will be in the shape of a butterfly, a symbolic representation of the individuality and unique character of every child. Here are two different videos that show different aspects of the playground.  The first one is from an organization in New Mexico who is looking to replicate the playground.  The second one is a sponsored video, but still gives you an excellent idea of what is in the playground.  A grass surfacing is from Playground Grass and equipment comes from Landscape Structures, Inc, both sponsors of accessibleplayground. net.


Play for All Abilities Inclusive Playground in Round Rock, Texas now open

The Play for All Abilities Park is located at 151 North A.W. Grimes Blvd in Round Rock, TX. The park entrance is located under the railroad bridge.

The site is heavily shaded and tucked away from busy streets. The Brushy Creek Regional Trail will be accessible from the park (2012 – 2013 construction). The trail will connect Redbud Lane/CR122 to A.W. Grimes Blvd. and connects into the Greater Lake Creek Trail System.

The Play for All Abilities Park will serve the more than 100,000 children of Williamson County with an estimated 7,945 children with a disability.

The park includes several pods each intended to develop specific skills for all children including:

  • Retreat Pod
  • Sensory Pod-Sand Box
  • Rock Band Pod
  • Rolling Hill/Performance Lawn
  • Sensory Pod
  • All Abilities Playscape
  • All Ability Swings
  • Brushy Creek Village life skills area

The park is 51,000 square feet of outdoor fun for children of all abilities!  Some of the playground equipment comes from Landscape Structures, Inc.

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Speers Point in Australia has excellent inclusive playground

A community effort between a childrens’ charity, the local council and business has seen the first stage of a unique playground opened at the northern end of Lake Macquarie.

Close by the tree lined lake foreshore, swimming pool, playing fields, walking and cycle paths, a new era of childrens’ playgrounds has opened at Speers Point Park.

Watch video: http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2008/06/26/2286632.htm

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Sometimes a little is enough–Whispering Pines Elementary’s new barrier free playground

Whispering Pines Elementary in Humble, TX just added an inclusive playground to their outside features to enable all children to play together.  They only added three pieces.  But that was enough for a lot of happy faces at the school.  Even though the surfacing is Engineered Wood Fiber, we wanted to show you how a few pieces, if they are the right pieces make a difference.

The three pieces from Landscape Structures are: Accessible Swings, Sway-Fun, and OmniSpin Spinner.  The dealer on the playground was Lone Star Recreation.



Shiver Me Timbers rises from ashes as an inclusive playground

Shiver Me Timbers Millennium Park (“Millennium Park”) was constructed in September, 2000 in celebration of the new millennium. The park was built by over 6,000 volunteers and funded completely through public and private donations. Since opening in September, 2000, the Park entertained over 500,000 children visits.

Unfortunately, the park was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of January 9, 2011.

After the fire that burned Shiver Me Timber Playground

There was a tremendous outcry by the community to bring the park back bigger and better as a symbol of “Southwest Louisiana community spirit.” In less than a year Millennium Park, now twice the size of the original playground, was redesigned, rebuilt and ready for play by Christmas.

They made the desision to work with Leathers and Associates again, but to use plastic instead of lumber.  Therefore,  new playground was designed and built under their direction. Leathers & Associates, Inc. is a design firm that specializes in playgrounds “imagined by children and built by the community”. The philosophy of Leathers is that playgrounds that are community‐built, build communities. This approach allows a community to tailor its project around its culture, history, location and ability to raise the funds necessary to build it.

Twice the size of the original playground, it pays homage to the first playground

Accessible features of the new playground include ramps into the major structures like the Eagles Nest, an accessible swing, covered seating, activities for vestibular motion, four seat see-saw, and pour-in-place surfacing.

One component that is new to the design is the bigger than life 40 foot long Shiver Me Timbers Pirate Ship. It’s right next to the Eagle’s Nest. This two storied ship features a climbing cargo net, portals, decking and ramps sure to bring out the “pirate” in all who dare to set sail on this bigger than life play structure.



Towering above the new 20,000 square foot playground is the super]sized Crying Eaglefs Nest Tree House. Itfs been redesigned with see]through mesh screening adorned with hand crafted leaves, parents can watch as their children climb through, up and around this amazing new structure.


More pictures: