September 7, 2009

Lockwood Park playground coming along

The new Lockwood Park playground has its spongy rubber surface poured into place. It's an important step for the playground, which is still waiting for a new parking lot and access road. The playground itself also needs landscaping around its exterior.

That hasn't stopped some kids from testing out the new playground, which got good reviews. The rubberized surface is a unique addition to Racine playgrounds, and once the landscaping is finished it will be the city's only fully accessible playground for people with disabilities.

Here's a few photos from last week:


  1. Once the disabled people are out by the jungle gyms what do they do then ?
    Armstrong it up there ? Just askin.
    Beach access for wheelchairs ? They gone' swim out there or what ?
    Just thinking out loud here.

  2. The surfaces around most playgrounds are sand, wood chips, or some other loose or uneven surface that can make getting in and around the gear nearly impossible for kids and others who are on crutches, in a wheelchair, or have other difficulty walking.

    This new playground surface is both smooth and forgiving. It is spongy and soft, but, because it is not loose, a wheel chair can roll on it. There is a "spring" to it, but not so much that you could not walk on it with a cane or walker.

    There are varying degrees of disability. Some people may not be able to walk on sand, gravel, or wood chips, but may be able to slide down a slide, splash in shallow lake water, or just sit and enjoy the beach on a sunny day.

    People confined to a wheelchair are not able to wheel through sand or wood chips, but may want to sit with or near their friends, family, children, grandchildren, etc., while they swim on play on the beach or on a playground.

    Both the playground and the beach access allow people with disabilities to share as much as possible in the fun. Even if they cannot go in the water or swing from the jungle gym, a child does not have to sit off in the distance while his siblings or friends play. He can be with his family and friends. Parents can have all their kids in one area and include all their children in activities.

    Finally, this is not just about people who want to play. This playground surface allows disabled parents and grandparents to get closer to their children while they play.

  3. The park is beautiful.

    As for the comment above...many disabled people can walk, but standard playground surfaces are difficult. And, yes, the jungle gym would be a great way to build arm strength. Also, think about disabled or elderly adults who want to take their children/grandchildren to the park or beach and how much easier this will make it.

    This weekend I was at the beach and a boy in a wheelchair was encouraging people to donate money to making the beach accessible. No one should be denied access to the waterfront/beach or the park.

  4. Looks good! Thank you to all the volunteers.

  5. Now that the park is done, how do we get there ?? Road is all torn up!! Will it be open before the snow flies ? Did we pay the $63k yet ??