The upgrades, approved during a special city council meeting Aug. 19, will allow wheelchair accessibility to all different levels of a play structure and from all sides, said Parks and Recreation Director Stacey Dicke.
“We already meet all of our ADA guidelines, but this takes it a step further,” Dicke said.
Among the city’s plans are an all-inclusive play structure at Morningside Park and a music trail that will utilize three undeveloped acres at Landa Park. The play structure would accommodate children ages 5-12 and include sensory elements as well as wider ramps than the average playground.
Dicke also expects standalone play elements, such as concrete sculptures, to be available along ADA accessible walkways at both parks. According to Dicke, the city’s main goal is to have as many play structures and amenities as possible, such as walkways, shaded areas and seating, that are all-inclusive.
“What we want to do is activate those pathways,” Dicke said, “so that while you’re on the path, there’s something to do. It makes the path more inviting, and encourages people to use it.”
The city will invest around $700,000 in the all-inclusive upgrades: $500,000 will come from the 2019 bond program, and $200,000 will come from interest earned on proceeds from the 2013 bond program.
Additional upgrades will include standalone elements, such as a Merry-Go-All and generational swings. Dicke anticipates the timeline for delivery and installation to be 3-6 months.