Discover the park’s accessibility features and how the community made it happen.
Recently, residents of Wyoming came together to help build a brand-new accessible playground at Crescent Park. This milestone moment came after many months of planning, fundraising, grant applications, and more—all with the goal to transform Crescent Park into a space for all residents, regardless of differences or disabilities, to enjoy. Finally, Crescent Park is home to this area’s first-ever universally accessible playground.
What Makes a Playground Accessible
For a playground to be considered accessible, it must meet certain requirements established through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It has to include features such as ramps leading into the play area and should not have curbs or other structures that block entry.
However, many parents of children with disabilities say these minimum requirements fall short. “My child uses a wheelchair, and many playgrounds considered accessible are still challenging for my son to navigate,” says Mary Gaffey, a community member who supported the planning and fundraising for the project. “Whether it’s gravel or mulch, there are many small elements of a play space that can make it hard for children to move around and fully enjoy their play experience.”
According to Megan Anderson, another resident who helped spearhead the project, ADA requirements can be considered a “guide of where to begin.” For any playground to be inclusive, Anderson says, “the planning process needs to be very comprehensive, and should always involve the end users, including disabled individuals.”
What Makes Crescent Park Different
Planning for the Crescent Park project included a diverse group of individuals who have disabilities or are close to individuals with disabilities. These perspectives combined to produce a design where both children playing and their adult companions, regardless of their abilities, can easily navigate and enjoy the space.
Crescent Park features several intentional elements, such as specialized, wheelchair-friendly turf, ground-level attractions, and adaptive swings which are accessible to children with differences in sensory integration and mobility.
Crescent Park has become one of only a handful of accessible parks in the Cincinnati area, including only two across Great Parks of Hamilton County. This inclusivity-focused project is an impressive reflection on the community of Wyoming.
“I love our community, especially the children in it and their experience,” Gaffey says. “This project is such a beautiful outward expression of the passion in our community to be inclusive of everyone.”
Anderson adds, “It gives me goosebumps thinking about how everyone came together—whether to provide funding, contribute to the design, pour concrete, or offer water—all in an effort to bring their love and support to this important project, which will serve not only our community, but our surrounding neighbors as well.”