Outdoor play is essential to children’s physical, social and cognitive development. Unfortunately, not all play areas are created equal, and multi-structural playgrounds can be a challenge for children struggling with mobility issues.
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) recognizes this, and has been working through a robust ADA transition plan. Every month, park staff unveil updates to existing amenities to make them more ADA-compliant, and they’re adding new amenities that feature the latest innovations in inclusive play.
In 2017, DPR was awarded a Healthy Play Grant from the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) to design a diverse and inclusive playground at San Dieguito County Park.
The goal of the playground was to create an environment where children of all ages and abilities could engage in inclusive, sensory, nature and fitness-based play. With funding secured, the development team went to work researching options, securing a contractor and erecting creative, state-of-the art equipment in this already popular play space.
Located in the northern area of the park near Miracle Field, the 5,600-square-foot all-accessible playground features six key play elements: Balancing, spinning, brachiating, sliding, climbing and spinning through a variety of attractions. Specialty equipment was mixed in with standard features, ramps were added, and the floor of the entire playground was filled with a rubberized surface for easy pavement-to-playground transitions Additionally, recycled materials were factored into apparatus, and trees were planted to provide shade, reduce sun exposure and improve park aesthetics.
Players on Miracle Field can now wheel directly over and onto the playground. This inclusive amenity is bringing more kids to the park, and they’re staying longer – proof that renovations are enhancing park experiences while meeting real community needs.
San Dieguito County Park spans 124 acres and offers a variety of recreational amenities, including 5 miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, a basketball court, a fitness area, pavilions, an ADA-accessible wedding gazebo and baseball field. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to sunset, daily. For more information, call the park at 858-755-2386.
To learn more about projects on the horizon, visit our park development page.