Yuma City Announces its First Effort Toward ‘Inclusive’ Play Spaces

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The City of Yuma announced it will begin incorporating inclusive play areas at some current and future playgrounds. With public involvement, including play equipment could arrive soon.

While the City currently has features in several parks that are “accessible” to users with disabilities, an “inclusive” play space provides an environment where children of all abilities can play and interact together at the same time. Inclusive playgrounds exceed the minimum standards of accessibility to ensure every child can fully engage with the equipment without limitations, and without having to be moved outside of their mobility device.

Examples of the inclusive play equipment, the City’s plans for it, and ways to get involved are listed online at www.yumaaz.gov/inclusiveplay.

Yuma City Announces its First Effort Toward 'Inclusive' Play Spaces, Invites Public Involvement signals az

Director of Parks and Recreation Eric Urfer introduced the inclusive play concept to the Yuma City Council at its regularly scheduled work session Sept. 20. The next installation is targeted for the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground at West Wetlands Park, 282 N. 12th Ave.

Urfer said Parks and Recreation plans to introduce individual inclusive play pieces to existing playgrounds when possible, and will design future playgrounds, splash pads and support facilities with full inclusion in mind. East Mesa Community Park, currently in planning stages, would be the City’s first large-scale inclusive play space.

This idea got a boost from parents Isaac and Alexis Liggett, who say they currently must drive three hours outside of Yuma to find play equipment where their wheelchair-bound son isn’t merely a spectator to his older sister. “Most wheelchair users are most comfortable, and safest, in their wheelchairs,” said Alexis Liggett.

The Liggetts studied inclusive playground equipment options and approached parks and recreation about introducing them. Other members of the community expressed their interest and willingness to help.

Expense is a factor in establishing inclusive play spaces. An inclusive play space – covering the equipment, surface, and additional ADA parking facilities – can cost 75% more than traditional playground spaces. Parks and Recreation will seek grant funding where available, but resident involvement will be key. The inclusive play page on the City’s website lists ways that residents can get involved, including direct donations, sponsorships, in-kind contributions, community presentations, volunteering and spreading the word.

To get involved, visit www.yumaaz.gov/inclusiveplay or contact Eric Urfer, Director of Parks and Recreation, at 928-373-5208 or email [email protected]

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