CALGARY – Construction is underway now on 10 new inclusive playgrounds in Calgary.
Each new park is specially designed to be barrier-free and fully accessible for kids and adults, no matter their ability level or diverse needs.
“You might see ramps for accessibility but you’ll also see other design features like braille signage to indicate where you are on the play pieces, or contrasting colours in the fall surfaces to indicate the path of travel for people with partial sight or blindness,” said Joan MacDonald with the City of Calgary.
“Some kids on the spectrum can easily be overstimulated so they all include a cozy spot or an enclosed area that are included to give break from the action.”
MacDonald says right now crews are out removing old playground equipment at the play sites to prepare for the new equipment, which is expected to arrive in June.
CEO of Inclusion Alberta Trish Bowman says this is great news, adding everything should be built with an inclusive eye.
“This will be really helpful to ensure all children are able to access playgrounds and parks,” she said.
“It’s a major barrier if your kids can’t get on the equipment and so families just stop trying, right? They just stop going. So, this will be very welcomed. And I think, importantly, it provides a place for kids to get to know each other, kids both with and without disabilities.”
Bowman expects families will be itching to use the new playgrounds, especially after the pandemic.
She’s hopeful this project will help get people working on other projects and civil designs thinking about accessibility.
MacDonald says when they are complete in September, you’ll be able to find a park in almost every quadrant of the city.
Some planned sites include Sandy Beach, Hidden Valley, Ramsey, Elliston Park, Edworthy Park, and Somerset.