On July 26, 2023, GameTime gathered with more than 200 people in the rain on the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act to celebrate the groundbreaking of Moss Universal Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The $10 million redevelopment project will transform the former Wisconsin Avenue Park into a first-of-its-kind, 18-acre universally inclusive park. Transforming a beloved community park into a national first will be led by IMPACT Parks, GameTime, and The Ability Center.
The project is the vision of The Ability Center's founder and CEO, Damian Buchman. Buchman is a childhood cancer survivor who endured nearly 30 surgeries as a teenager. During the groundbreaking ceremony, he recalled walking out of the local Children’s Hospital many years ago into what he called “his new normal.” Buchman, who often uses a wheelchair for mobility, recognized his life was forever physically changed. Still, he also saw an opportunity to change the world around him to be more accessible and inclusive.
“We build inclusive playgrounds, and they’re great - they’re important,” said Buchman to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters. “But every one of those playgrounds is in a park, and everybody deserves the opportunity to explore the entire park, not just the playground. That’s what a universally inclusive park is all about.”
Partners for Inclusive Recreation
The Ability Center partnered with Milwaukee County, Milwaukee County Parks, and GameTime on the project. The park will feature recreational areas and amenities designed for individuals of all ages and abilities, including a GameTime inclusive playground and accessible outdoor fitness spaces, community meeting space, accessible sports fields, and more. It is expected to be completed in Summer 2025.
The Ability Center has created many universally inclusive ‘firsts’ for the Milwaukee County community. They partnered with the County to increase accessibility at local parks, recreation areas, and beaches. Damian Buchman is excited about taking his organization’s vision for inclusion to the next level. “Moss Universal Park will be an amplification of our previous efforts, creating a truly inclusive 18-acre park filled with recreation opportunities,” said Buchman in a press release. “This is a fitting way to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Meeting the Needs of the Community
“We know more than 25 percent of households in Milwaukee County have at least one family member who has a disability, and of 15,000 acres of Milwaukee County parks, there are currently no universally inclusive parks,” said County Executive David Crowley in a statement. “Those families have lacked an equitable opportunity to partake in play, recreation, and other physical activities. I want to thank The Ability Center, my colleagues at the County Parks, and all those who are making Moss Universal Park a reality – your efforts to transform this space into a universally inclusive park bring us one step closer to creating a more equitable county.”
Everyone Deserves to Play
GameTime is honored to partner with Damian Buchman and The Ability Center to design the new Moss Universal Park. The park, playground, and recreation areas will be created using the 7 Principles of Inclusive Design from PlayCore and Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities. It will be registered as a National Demonstration Site for inclusive play and a model for communities nationwide who want to create spaces where everyone can play together.
“What we’ve learned over the last four decades is how to design inclusive spaces for people of all ages and abilities,” said Kent Callison, Director of Marketing for GameTime. “With our partnership with The Ability Center, we are learning how to apply our expertise in playground design to creating a fully inclusive park where play has no limit.”
For more information about Moss Universal Park, visit www.universalpark.org. To learn how GameTime can create an inclusive recreation space in your community, contact the GameTime representative in your neighborhood.
- Trails (29)
- Schools (178)
- Press Releases (107)
- Playground Funding (3)
- Play Science & Research (67)
- Parks & Recreation (345)
- Outdoor Fitness (144)
- National Demonstration Site (39)
- Landscape Architects (73)
- Inclusive Play (103)
- Daycare and Early Learning (59)
- Custom Play (36)
- College Campus (28)
- Churches (47)
- Challenge Course (33)
- Featured Projects (78)
- Site and Shade (6)