The Magical Bridge Playground - Palo Alto Mitchell Park
Original post made by Jill Asher, Crescent Park, on Oct 7, 2012
Information about the Magical Bridge Group (local families behind building this playground can be found here):
We are encouraging the entire parenting community to "LIKE" the Magical Bridge Facebook Page - and keep posted on the progress of this park being built.
Over 10,000 individuals in Palo Alto have a disability and not one of our city's 34 public parks fully meets their needs. It is time we give everyone a place to play.
People with disabilities constitute the nation's largest minority group, and is the only group any of us can become a member of at any time. In fact, between 1990 and 2000, individuals with disabilities increased 25%, outpacing any other subgroup of the U.S. population.
With fifteen zones specifically designed to accommodate the needs of all kinds of children, everyone will feel safe and included. The many "play huts" around the park will be imagination zones for some, but a critical respite zone for those with autism who need to retreat from the frantic pace of kids playing. The bridge pathway into the playground will be a fully accessible entry for all, but for those in a wheelchair, a magical tree walk will lead them into a playhouse as never before.
While basic wheelchair-accessible playgrounds exist, we are excited to far surpass the minimum requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990. Designed by inclusive play experts, educators, therapists, families living with various disabilities, and the City of Palo Alto, we have designed a place like no other in the nation. True to the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley, the Magical Bridge playground will be the first of its kind.
Children deprived of play opportunities fail to develop to their full potential. In fact, the United Nations proclaims: "It is every child's right to play.1" Our entire community benefits from the elimination of social stigmas and prejudices, and a playground is the best place to start. Outdoor play is the foundation for physical development as well as social-emotional lessons such as cooperation, sharing, communicating, problem solving and kindness.