Lubbock, TX Play for All Abilities Park wins award!

Inclusive design and city development process recognized for park development innovation. City receives prestigious Park Development Innovations award

play for all abilities playground

Hundreds of children attend grand opening of new playground

LUBBOK, TX (PRWEB) April 08, 2013

March 7, 2013 – The City of Round Rock was recently awarded the Park Development Innovations award for the city’s Play for all Abilities Park. The award was bestowed in recognition of the city’s development process that was completed by the department staff. This process included long range planning, land acquisition, donations, grants, and sponsorships, as well as maintenance. Play for All Abilities is a 51,000 square-foot playground, providing barrier-free play for all children, including those with special needs.

The vision for Play for All Abilities Park began nearly 6 years ago when Kenneth Seymore struggled to find a place to take his son Dennis to play. Dennis Seymore was born with Arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder limiting his range of motion and muscle development. Kenneth wanted to design a park that let Dennis, as well as children of all abilities, play together.

Several playground vendors submitted proposals for the actual playground structure, addressing component accessibility and appropriate surfacing requirements. The winning proposal was submitted by Play & Park Structures and implemented the best practices for creating universally designed playgrounds outlined in Me2, a playground design guidebook developed in partnership with Utah State University, Center for Persons with Disabilities and PlayCore. Me2 provides education and awareness of the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design and the importance of creating usable play environments which recognize everyone’s right to fully participate in equitable play. Through these guiding principles, the proposal fully addressed the needs of the whole child by intentionally addressing the physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional, and sensory needs of all children.

After about 5 years of persistence and hard work, Kenneth and the city of Round Rock were able to turn this dream into a reality. Their hard work and dedication has paid off and continues to strengthen the community through the power of play!


Elementary School in Virginia adds new all-inclusive playground

In 2010, The Sycolin Creek Elementary PTA began the design for Phase II of their playground, which opened in April of 2012. With the understanding that approximately 10% of the student population is in the special education program, they knew they needed an unique playground where all of our students could have fun and experience the joy of inclusive play.

The playground was carefully designed and reviewed by professional accessible playground designers, by Special Education teachers, by therapists, and most importantly, by mothers – those of children with special needs as well as typical children “and has been given the smile of approval by all.”  The PTA was able to raise $175,000 to fund it.

The playground equipment is from Playworld Systems and was installed by All Recreations, the Playworld Systems distributor in Virginia.  The playground is open to the public when school is not in session

Wordless Wednesday–a pictorial tour of Livvi’s Place

Livvi’s Place is a project of Touched by Olivia, a non-profit located in Australia.   They have built numerous playgrounds around Australia.  This one is in Trembell Park in Canada Bay which is outside of Sidney. The playground won Parks and Leisure Australia Awards 2010 – Best Playspace, as well as Public Works Engineering Australia Engineering Excellence Award.

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Below is the orientation video available on their website.  It enables a parent to show their child in advance what the playground looks like.  There is also a Flip Book which could be printed and used to create a story board.

This video is longer–about 5 minutes.  But it is a great tour of the playground and the reasons why it was built.  If you want it to remain wordless–turn off your sound : )

Taylor’s Dream Now Opened–started as an 11-year-old girl’s idea that children of all abilities should play together

Indiana’s first boundless playground opened Friday in Fort Wayne:

Indiana’s first boundless playground opened in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Friday, and everything from the play equipment to the ground itself has been designed to allow children with disabilities and without to play together in an inclusive setting.  The playground, called “Taylor’s Dream,” began as an idea from a little girl named Taylor Reuille.  When 11-year-old Taylor realized that there were many kids with disabilities who couldn’t play at playgrounds in her community, she and her mother Casey Booher researched and found that a boundless playground would offer amazing play opportunities for children with and without disabilities, including those with physical, sensory, developmental and cognitive disabilities. “We’ve got to do this, Mom,” Casey Booher recalls her daughter saying. “We have to.”  After years of fundraising and hard work, the playground is now a reality, and features a revolutionary accessible surface called Playground Grass.

Playground Grass by ForeverLawn is an artificial grass surfacing system designed for beauty, safety, and accessibility in playground environments.  The system offers a soft, grass-like surface, combined with a padded sub-surface that provides an ASTM safety rating to fall heights of 12 feet.  The texture and appearance of the grass contributes to the tactile and visual sensory perception of the children, and the even, stable surface provided by Playground Grass is ADA accessible, allowing wheelchairs, braces, and other assistive equipment to access the facility easily and safely.  When used to connect barrier-free play elements like those found at Taylor’s Dream, Playground Grass contributes to a truly boundless play experience.

50-year-old Sherry Woodman had the opportunity to play on a playground for the first time in her life at the grand opening of Taylor’s Dream on Friday.  “I’m a disabled parent and I couldn’t come when they were little and play with them anywhere on a playground because I couldn’t get through with the mulch, you know mulch is really hard for wheelchair tires and stuff,” said Woodman.  “And so not only are kids going to be able to come here and play that have disabilities, but parents with disabilities are going to be able to come here and feel like normal parents and be able to just enjoy their kids. I didn’t leave here till I’d been on every part of the playground, I like I wanted to do it all.”

the playground’s equipment comes from Playworld Systems with Playworld Midstates as the consultants. “We are excited that our equipment is helping to make Taylor’s dream a reality,” said Ian Proud, research manager for Playworld Systems. “Playground equipment plays a vital role in the social development of all children and everyone involved in building Fort Wayne’s newest recreational area has done an outstanding job of bringing inclusive play to local residents.”

Taylor’s Dream at Kreager Park has three pods of playground equipment and activity areas, a splash pad, accessible parking, ramps and walkways, and a picnic pavilion.

The new play area features:

The Alpha Pod, designed for younger children (2 – 5 years), provides opportunities for parallel play, group and solitary play. It also encourages role playing, socialization and creative, imaginative play. Educational panels help children identify shapes and colors.

The Beta Pod, designed for children ages 2 – 12 years old, provides an intriguing, multi-sensory themed play area featuring equipment from Playworld Systems’ Origins product line, play elements and site amenities that seamlessly blend active outdoor play with nature. A fossilized T-Rex “skeleton” from Playworld Systems’ Origins™ line will encourage children to imagine themselves as archaeologists, while NEOS® 360 promotes competition and teamwork by combining video game speed with aerobic activity for users of all abilities.

The Gamma Pod, designed for older children (5 – 12 years), offers broad opportunities for parallel play, group and solitary play. It also encourages role playing, socialization and creative, imaginative play. The keystone of this pod is Playworld’s Aero Glider, a multi-user rocker that provides enough room for two wheelchair users to sit side-by-side. The unique stepping platform on both ends provides an opportunity for more kids to play and increases the motion and fun. High rear rails allow adults to assist with the gliding motion while experiencing the enjoyment themselves. There are also seats on each end so that all users can enjoy the swaying motion.

The playground took four years to build, which consisted of a lot of fundraising and hard work by Taylor, the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, and the community.  Taylor and her family personally raised $10,000 through community and school fundraising, and the City of Fort Wayne provided $250,000 toward the playground fund.  But when Taylor discovered that the playground would cost over a million dollars to build, she “thought it would be virtually impossible.” However, with the help of the community, the city, and donations from other sources, they were able to raise the money.

A large part of the funds to build the park came from a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Challenge, a competition that the park won thanks to a huge effort by Taylor’s family and the community of Fort Wayne.  The park beat out entries from larger communities, due to the relentless work and voting of those involved, and brought vital funds and exposure to the project.  According to the Pepsi Refresh Challenge website, the grant program funds “amazing ideas that refresh the world,” and Taylor’s Dream certainly fit the bill.

According to Sarah Nichter of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation, her department couldn’t be more pleased with the ForeverLawn surface. “The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department is in the business of creating and maintaining playgrounds. We have some fabulous facilities — but the ForeverLawn set our Boundless Playground apart from all the others! Not only is it beautiful, setting off our brightly colored equipment, but it also gives children and adults with disabilities the chance to play with their peers. I believe this type of surfacing will become a standard for many playgrounds in the future,” said Nichter.

Adrianne Lyon, director of children’s services at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults With Disabilities said allowing all kids to play together will provide a sense of inclusiveness for children with disabilities, and will get other children used to interacting with them. “It sort of levels the playing ground for everybody,” said Lyon. “We all get to play together.”

Now that Taylor is 15, some suggested that she may be too old to play on the playground that she dreamed up. Taylor responded, “It’s never too late to be on a playground for the first time.  I’ll still be playing here at 90 years old.”

Tony’s Trail–an accessible tribute to an amazing man.

Tony’s Trail is an award-winning, ADA trail in Maury County Park, TN. Tony Scott, former director of Maury County Parks and Recreation Department, conceived and pursued this ambitious project with the same steadfast determination he lived his life. Tony served as director of Maury County Parks & Recreation until he lost his battle with ALS, December 16, 2004. Tony’s love of the outdoors, the beauty and tranquility of nature, his respect for wildlife, and his unique perspective on the everyday challenges faced by those with special needs lead to the concept of this very special trail. Tony’s Trail was funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Federal Highway Administration. Tony wanted everyone to enjoy and experience that which he loved. He knew, only then, can we develop and foster a greater respect for our natural environment

Tony’s Trail is unique and innovative. The trail is designed to accommodate a variety of mobility assistance devices including traditional and motorized wheelchairs and “Power Wheels” designed for very young children. It is the only trail in the region designed to accommodate the special needs of these groups. Tony’s Trail provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy quality leisure activities and interpretive learning in a safe and non-threatening environment designed to meet their needs.

Tony’s Trail provides a one of its kind educational opportunity. The trail was designed for a specific group with diverse members, and because the intent of the trail was not necessarily to provide exercise but to enhance the quality of lives, it provides the perfect opportunity for positive intergenerational activities and programs. Plans for creative arts and interpretive gardening projects are currently being developed.

Cooperation and collaboration between Maury County Parks & Recreation and numerous community groups was crucial in the realization of Tony’s Trail.  Groups such as Kings Daughters, Maury County Sr. Citizens, Independent Opportunities, National Caregivers Support Group and the Maury County ESE Teachers served as advisors on the project. Culleoka School DECA Club, Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club, Maury County ALS Walk and Friends of Maury County Parks have contributed to trail enhancements. The wheelchair accessible portion of the playground was made possible by the Mount Pleasant and Columbia Civitan Clubs. The ADA accessible playground equipment was purchased by Leadership Maury.

Tony’s Trail offers both social and environmental benefits. A Maury Alliance community input study identified more facilities for the disabled, playgrounds specifically designed for persons with special needs, additional leisure facilities for persons with special needs, and additional leisure facilities for young children as high priority items. According to statistics released by the Centers for Independent Living, more than 19% of Maury County’s population is disabled, and 28% of these citizens are over the age of 65. According to statistics gathered by the Maury County Imagination Library, 6.7% of our population is under five years old. The Tennessee State Recreation Plan identified “making recreation trails available for people with disabilities” as a first priority in the South Central Division of the Middle Tennessee Planning Region, with “walking for pleasure” and “viewing natural scenery” identified as high demand activities in Tennessee.  Tony’s Trail provides opportunities for these persons, their caregivers, assistants, family members and friends to enjoy quality leisure activities in a safe and non-threatening environment designed to meet their specific needs.

Tony Scott was not defeated by that which confined him. ALS could not hamper his spirit! His faith did not falter!  He left us all better for having known him and his legacy of perseverance; therefore, it is to that legacy that Tony’s Trail is dedicated.

Phase I

  • A curbed, ten foot wide paved motorized accessible trail
  • Accessible playground
  • Accessible Restroom

Phase II

Phase II will include several thematic, multi-sensory gardens to be located around the trail.

These gardens will include:

  • A water garden – Stimulating the sense of sound/hearing
  • A hanging/fragrance garden- Stimulating the sense of smell
  • A raised garden planting/harvesting- Stimulating the sense of taste
  • An art/texture garden- Stimulating the sense of touch
  • A deck/nature garden- Stimulating the sense of sight

Assessable picnic tables and benches will be placed at strategic sites of interest and a new accessible restroom will be constructed.

They are still working on The Gardens surrounding The Trail…..Persons Or Groups Interested In assisting with the Accessible Gardens are encouraged to call or email Sonjalyn Dickson Rine at (931) 375-6103 or

This article was reprinted with permission. From Maury County Parks and Recreation

Salmon Bay School reveals final design for ASD accessible playground | Ballard News-Tribune

Salmon Bay School reveals final design for ASD accessible playground | Ballard News-Tribune.

The final design for the Salmon Bay playground renovation and the necessary budget were revealed last night. Last night’s Open House gave community members one more chance to ensure that the design expresses the needs and dreams of the entire community.

At a community meeting in February, architects Johnson/Southerland presented three different designs for the playground and for two weeks community members were encouraged to vote on their favorite designs online. The playground is being designed to specifically support the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders while being engaging for all children.

“The final design is really a blend of concept one and three,” said Project Manager, Robin Wise Lofstrom.

The community voted on elements they liked in each of the concepts and the architects worked to include them in the final drawing.

“The star planter was popular with everyone so we incorporated that into the final design. The little play pods is a specific ASD feature because it gives them space and allows them to be in their own bubble,” Lofstrom said.

Lofstrom said that the rock and ropes feature in the earlier designs have been replaced with parallel bars and the shelter was unpopular with the neighbors due to it being a potential safety concern.

The final playground design features Monkey Bars, a Roller Slide, a jump rope hook, a rain garden, lily pads, rings, a see-saw, kids basketball, wall ball, and a kids basketball stand.

700 children celebrated the end of one playground and the beginning of a new accessible playground

Mayor Joe Adame, along with representatives of the Junior League of Corpus Christi and the City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department, invited the community to join them for a special “Kids Place Ultimate Play Day.”

The “Kids Place Ultimate Play Day” event was an amazing event to say good-bye to a favorite playground that will be demolished and replaced by a brand-new up-to-date accessible playground. 700 participants took part in a wide variety of exciting activities that the whole families enjoyed.

Mayor Joe Adame said at the kickoff, “Today is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. We can’t wait to see the new era of families being able to experience this special place.”

The plans are to completely rebuild Kids Place, which was constructed in 1991 in Cole Park as a result of a community effort spearheaded by the Junior League.  It helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of that organization.  As was the case then, the Junior League of Corpus Christi has been activity involved in planning for the new structure.

The $400,000 project is a component of $2.5 million of improvements to Cole Park, which were approved by voters as part of the 2008 Bond Issue.  Once completed, the new Kids Place will provide such things as six slides, three swing sets, a rock climbing feature, shade structures and more.  Parks and Recreation officials say the new facility will also be completely ADA accessible with interlocking tiles for surfacing and will provide added playability for as many as 400 children at one time. In addition, the new design has great line-of-sight to improve security on the playground.

Officials say construction of the new Kids Place is expected to actually get underway in late April of this year.  That facility and all of the Bond 2008 improvements at Cole Park are expected to be completed around the end of March 2012.

Read more about the Event

Families visiting Millstone Creek Playground rave about its inclusive features

Parents explain their excite about this new playground in OH designed by Playworld Systems. Through their excitement, you can learn the importance of a well designed accessible playground.  There are children of varying abilities and ages playing together on the playground and no one could tell it was a group of “special needs” children and their families.

The key points to notice about the playground is

  • how children are interacting with one another
  • how the ground level activities enable children with and without disabilities play together
  • that amazing equipment like NEOS 360 bring all people together to play
  • that very few children played on the large structure, they preferred the unique equipment on the ground




Kits Beach playground makes fun accessible for all

Rick Hansen on hand for opening of Winter Olympics legacy project

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun December 11, 2010

Saucer SwingsAidan Goldie couldn’t wait to try the new saucer swing. It was big and inviting and looked like one of those flying saucer toboggans hanging from a swing set.  At least two children can sit on it. And if they face the right way, they have a view of the water and mountains at Kits Beach.

“It looks really cool,” Aidan, 12, said, surveying the new accessible playground at Vancouver’s Kits Beach. “When some people don’t like to play on the beach they can come here.”

The new half-acre playground, which was officially opened next to the Boathouse by the Vancouver park board Saturday, is a legacy project of the Winter Olympics — one of three accessible playgrounds in Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler.

Read more:

Park Board opens largest fully accessible playground in Vancouver

Saucer Swing

December 11, 2010 (No. 59) – Today, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation celebrated the official opening of the city’s largest fully accessible playground at Kitsilano Beach Park. It is one of three showcase inclusive playgrounds built in the 2010 Winter Games host communities of Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond.

This new playground enables children of all abilities to play side-by-side with their siblings, friends, families and caregivers. A wheelchair accessible surface also allows parents and caregivers with physical disabilities access to the playground. The playground, which includes features such as an accessible sand play table, rotating climber and saucer swings, is a legacy of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Rotating Climber

“New play opportunities have been included to ensure universal access and encourage imaginative play, sensory experiences and fun for children of all ages and abilities,” says Vancouver Park Board Chair Aaron Jasper. “We are extremely grateful to our funding partners for their generous contribution to a safe and fun place where all children can play for years to come.”

In July 2009, the Park Board approved the upgrading of the Kitsilano Beach Park playground to an accessible playground in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, Rick Hansen Foundation, 2010 Legacies Now, Province of British Columbia, Coca-Cola Canada and Shane’s Inspiration. The Park Board provided the land space and oversaw the building of the playground, and will provide its ongoing maintenance.

“It took months of hard work, dedication, determination and a strong vision of inclusiveness to bring this playground to fruition,” says Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “By working together, we have created something beautiful – a legacy that can be enjoyed by all children and all parents, of all abilities.”

“Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada is thrilled to help celebrate the new world class accessible playground at Kits Beach,” says Rem Langan, Chairman, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Canada. “This new accessible playground will bring many smiles to Canadian kids and their families. And by offering a universal play environment, together we will enable kids of all abilities to play together.”

“All children, along with their caregivers, need a space to play and explore together, regardless of a disability” says Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “This playground is a shining example of what I set out to accomplish 25 years ago on the Man In Motion World Tour – making communities more accessible and inclusive for everyone.”

HB Lanarc Consultants Ltd. was awarded the landscape architecture consultancy contract to assist Park Board staff and Shane’s Inspiration with the public process and concept plan development. The $540,000 half-acre (0.2 hectare) playground is located 100 metres south of the original playground, which will be dismantled and replaced with grass. The new playground is closer to existing accessible washrooms, concession, lifeguard tower and parking area.


Multi-sensory Discovery Playground is an accessible place where people of all ages and abilities can play, learn and discover

Discovery Park

The Discovery Playground in Spokane, Washington is one more element fulfilling the dream of those who envisioned Mirabeau Point as a multi-use community campus for public recreational, educational and entertainment activities.

Located near the Spokane River just north of I-90 and east of Pines Road, Mirabeau Point is the site of Mirabeau Meadows, Mirabeau Springs, and the Mirabeau Trails Natural Area. It is home to CenterPlace, Spokane Valley’s premier regional event facility, which also houses the Spokane Valley Senior Citizens Center. Located nearby are the Spokane Valley YMCA and the Centennial Trail. Served by STA Bus Route 32.

Features in the Discovery Playground are designed to provide accessible and imaginative learn-and-play activities for a variety of ages and abilities. Using sight, sound, scent and touch, the elements of the playground are designed to provide activities that support physical, educational and social development. A variety of inviting gathering areas will accommodate individual, family and group activities.

Designed around the theme “Exploring Eastern Washington,” the Discovery Playground provides outdoor educational opportunities where classes and groups can pursue physical, earth and life sciences, and health and fitness education.

Discovery Playground Features Include:

Sun Gateway and Basalt Boulder Play: Gathering plaza, climbing boulders and a bridge over a dry creek bed

Steelhead Trout River Bed “Splash Pad”: Basalt water sprays, trout sculptures, seating and jumping water jets

Fossil Maze: Herb garden, fossils, benches and a raised planting bed

Outdoor Classroom: A quiet group gathering area

Secret Garden: Wavy walk, bridge, larger-than-life objects, vine tunnel and sensory plantings

Bear Den Sand Play with Mammoth Fossil Find: Bear den, mammoth and fossils, water spigot and raised sand table

Big Horn Sheep Challenge Steps, Double Slide and Sensory Garden: Shallow and steep steps with wrap-around garden, and sculpture/seating/talk tubes

Eagle’s Nest Observation Deck: Watershed and salmon wall, Glacier Rock slide, climbing wall, giant eagle’s nest sitting circle, swings, spinners, fish climbing sculpture and boulder seating

Elk Valley Picnic Plaza: Shelter, tables, seating, boulders, sundial, fossils and Split Rock

Musical Elements: Musical elements in seating nooks with a larger musical area

Landscaping: Features Eastern Washington flora with a variety of scents, textures and colors

Discovery Pavers and Hidden Walk: Educational pavers leading along a pathway with benches

Accessible restrooms

Here is a video of the ground breaking, with a further description of the park, which is now opened.

For more information, call 509-720-5401.
Click here for map to Discovery Playground.