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Long Beach to Build First Major Universally Accessible Playground in South Bay Area

A preliminary design, based on a transportation theme, of the Universally Accessible Playground at El Dorado Park

Partners of Parks and the City of Long Beach have joined forces to bring the first Universally Accessible Playground to Long Beach.  It will be a place where a child with a disability can play alongside a typically-able child for the very first time. In doing so, these two children, will have the chance to see beyond their differences.

According to a 2007 California Department of Education Study, 8.9% of children 3-17, have a physical disability in the City of Long Beach.  As California’s fifth most populous city, Long Beach must address the needs of disabled youth.  Shane’s Inspiration, the innovator in creating universally accessible playgrounds, has a proven track record of success through the development of nine playgrounds in the Los Angeles area.   The Universally Accessible Playground at El Dorado Park will be the first major playground in the Long Beach area (including surrounding cities and Orange County).

“This is an opportunity to serve the 17,200 children ages 3-17 with disabilities in the greater Long Beach area,” says Partners of Parks Sr. Program Manager Drew Satariano.  “Seniors with disabilities will also benefit greatly by having the opportunity to participate with their grandchildren in play, a joy previously impossible due to the layout of typical playgrounds.” 

The Universally Accessible Playground at El Dorado will be a state of the art playground for all residents to enjoy.  Partners of Parks and the Department of Parks and Recreation collaborated with David Volz Designs to add features that have never been seen on any playground before.  These include specific play areas for toddlers aged 2-5, children 5-12, and a separate area for tots with autism and quieter needs.  Southern California residents of all abilities will take pride in ownership of this unique public service in their community.

Partners of Parks will be the fundraising arm for the $2.7 million project.  Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (OOCL) in the Long Beach port made a $100,000 contribution earlier this year.  “It’s a fantastic opportunity for companies and individuals alike to be a part of a unique and valuable asset for a highly underserved population.” says Partners of Parks president Connie Hamilton.   “We still have a great deal of money to raise, and the community is really coming together to help.”

If you would like to contribute to the Universally Accessible Playground, you can do so by contributing online or contacting Drew Satariano at dsatariano@partnersofparks.org


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