Douglas, AZ is Home to New Inclusive Play National Demonstration Site
Play is an Equal Right
Eighth Street Park in Douglas, Arizona is the site of a new inclusive playground designed for people of all abilities. Designed using the research found in Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design (published by Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities and PlayCore), the park and playground is recognized as a National Demonstration Site for inclusive play.
Jennifer Smith, leisure services manager for Douglas, said the project was made possible through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds with 100 percent matching funds from GameTime. “The grant matched the city’s cost for the main structure,” said Smith. “The amount we saved with the grant allowed us to purchase additional freestanding equipment.” Smith added, “This new playground will be an area all kids can engage and have fun. This was such an amazing project. The impact it’s going to have on our community will be huge.”
Children enjoy GameTime's inclusive whirl, Merry-Go-All, at Eighth Street Park in Douglas, Arizona
The playground was designed by Triple M Recreation, GameTime's exclusive representative in Arizona. Pete Ryan of Triple M Recreation said, "We work with park and recreation professionals, schools, landscape architects and youth organizations to create outdoor recreation solutions for every generation. This project was a joy to work on because of Jen's passion for the community and the children and families who live here."
Community leaders and families join together for the ribbon-cutting at Eighth Street Park in Douglas, Arizona
On hand with Jennifer and Pete was Tom Norquist, senior vice president of GameTime. After the ribbon cutting, Tom talked with members of the community about what makes a playground inclusive. “When you think of the word include, you all want to be included in good things," said Norquist. "An inclusive playground is a playground where everybody is included no matter what their ability. That’s what you have created here. A child with a disability is still a child and we want them to be out there with all of our kids playing.”
The new playground celebrates the abilities of everyone in Douglas and is a lasting symbol of the community's commitment to making play and recreation a part of life for everybody.