green design, eco design, sustainable design, Olenka Villareal, Palo Alto playgrounds, Magical Bridge Playground, handicap accessible playground

Living in Palo Alto, Villareal found that of the 34 playgrounds sprinkled throughout the area, none of them were accessible to 6 year-old Ava. Rather than complain to her city officials, she took it upon herself to raise the $4 million necessary for her dream playground. The city of Palo Alto happily granted Villareal a space for Magical Bridge, and a team of landscape architects and designers were brought in to make the city’s first entirely inclusive playground a reality.

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In order to make a space that is navigable for children and adults in wheelchairs and other mobility assistance devices, the designers focused first on creating a playground set on flat surfaces, made from spongy, soft materials. Seven separate zones create different environments for play at varying levels of ability, including swinging, climbing and even a musical area. For children who become overstimulated, retreat areas were designed, in the form of quiet and relaxing areas, and even a castle-like tree house.

Magical Bridge Playground accommodates everyone, in one creative space that welcomes children and adults of all abilities.

+ Magical Bridge Playground

via Huffington Post