Inclusive Play Area at Griffin Park

Help us build a safe, accessible and inclusive outdoor play space for the community of Windham, NH.

This area will have enough space for wheelchairs/adaptive equipment to move about and people to interact without being crowded. The sensory equipment would be visually stimulating for those who benefit from visual ques. The ramp system, learning wall, musical instruments, play boards, etc would allow children to be able to move with courage, grow confidence, build problem solving skills, and heighten their creativity and imagination. The advantage of this space is that it will be located in an existing passive area of a park so it will truly bring the spirit of inclusivity to our town. It is unique as the other half of this space has gardens, a gazebo, picnic tables, and chess/checker tables. There will be people playing pickup basketball and tennis, people sitting on park benches, or kids playing in a baseball or soccer game, just yards away. Everyone will be able to access this space and be a part of the action in our beloved Town Park.

Playgrounds are a great place for children to engage with peers and make friends. A struggle families with disabilities face is fewer places to meet and be part of the community. According to a study on physical and developmental disabilities, 53% of kids with disabilities spent less than two hours a week with their peers outside of class. By making playgrounds inclusive it solves this problem because children of all abilities can play together. Parks/playground equipment shouldn’t limit or segregate children. It should be a place for children to come together and learn from each other. Inclusive playgrounds encourage play, which leads to a mutual understanding, friendships, and a true feeling of community. A playground needs to meet certain ADA requirements, but they do not need to be fully inclusive. The play area that is proposed will be fully inclusive, which will bring together disabled and non-disabled people of all ages for fun in the same space.

Community is everything here! Windham is growing, our population is diversifying and needs are changing. This project would show that Windham is an inclusive town with a commitment to improving our offerings. We’ve been working closely with families with a vested interest in this project. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. One mom of an autistic child relayed how much it meant to her family that the town was investing resources on a project that would allow her son to be safe and secure in a space he could freely enjoy with others of all abilities; it made her feel like they chose the right place to raise him. That’s the kind of lasting impact we want to have, to be proud of the changes we’re making for our residents’ benefit. This space would give children of all abilities an opportunity to grow, learn, play, and explore together. This play area would have years of use from ALL in the community.

Examples of items: Cozy Dome (Climber on the outside; quiet cozy space on the inside for those who are shy or need a break)

Roller Table (Great activity for kids with mobility impairments; helps develop skin map of tactile sensory receptors)

Sensory Play Center (Multi-sensory play center; develop socially and creatively)

We-Go-Round (Brings kids of all abilities together; Fully wheelchair accessible; Promotes fun and interaction by having all users face each other)

Learning Wall; Play Boards; Musical Instruments; Stationary Cycle