Updated: Sep 2, 2022
The new structure and outdoor interactive art will allow children of all abilities to play together and help families with much-needed greenspace and imaginative play.
Rochester residents will soon have access to the city's first ADA-accessible playspace and sensory garden.
It'll be nestled in the Kenwood community garden and was designed by 540WMain in collaboration with the University of Rochester's iZone, Adlai E. Stevenson School #29, the SW Rotary Club, and the Kenwood Street neighbors, all of whom have been working on the playspace since they first received the grant from Kaboom in 2021.
The new playspace is set to open to the public with a ceremony on Monday, Sept. 12 at 10:30a and a cookout that afternoon at 4:30p.m. Families are encouraged to come and see the new space and allow their children to play.
"This [new playspace] matters because this renovation is the only ADA-accessible playspace in the City of Rochester and will provide needed access to greenspace for a historically underserved community, students, and neighbors in a predominately Black neighborhood of Rochester," said Calvin Eaton, Founder/CEO of 540WMain.
According to Unlimited Play, accessible playspaces are critical for everyone, particularly because kids with disabilities often have few opportunities to easily play with other children. Yet, the benefits of play are clear: it's the top way children learn and it provides a fun, safe space for critical relationship building. And an accessible playground doesn't just benefit kids with challenges, according to the same article:
"Able-bodied children learn and grow on accessible playgrounds by interacting with others who are in some ways different from them. Accessible playgrounds also allow parents and other adults with disabilities to play with their children – something that’s often not possible on a traditional playground."
Although more awareness is quickly spreading around the need for accessible playgrounds, this region continues to lag in providing fully accessible playgrounds. In fact, the Town of Greece just opened its first in 2021 partnering with Endless Highway.
Eaton said he's excited about the upcoming opening ceremony and to welcome families into the new playspace.
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