The city’s first ever all abilities playground will soon become a reality, with work on the project scheduled to begin next year.
The effort is nearly a decade old, with the goal identified in the 2015 Onion Creek Metropolitan Park Master Plan. The city plans to get moving on the southeast Austin park starting next month — here’s what to know.
What is an all abilities playground?
True to its title, an all abilities playground is a space built for children and guardians of all ages, abilities, and needs.
This often involves accessible design, but a successful inclusive playground also includes varying levels of challenges for kiddos to develop physically, socially, and cognitively while maintaining safety.
For example, the Play For All Park in Round Rock includes:
- A sensory pod-sandbox
- A ramp-accessible playscape
- A swing set with different types of swings, including a wheelchair swing and companion swing
What will this playground be like?
Although the design phase hasn’t yet begun, this new playground is expected to include a play area, restrooms, picnic pavilions, and trail connections.
The site will be built with sustainability in mind, and be categorized into four themes: natural, passive, active, and cultural.
The playground will be the first of its kind in the City of Austin, although a similar playground opened last month in Del Valle. This spring, the city identified the Springwood Neighborhood Park as another potential future all abilities playground site.
How can I get involved?
Design plans for the park are expected to be released by June.