Inclusive Playground Community Build
October 14, 2022 | By Admin |
Jefferson Universal Movement Playground (Jump!) Community Build
It is a rare and enjoyable opportunity for us to get our hands dirty and help bring one of our own designs into the real world. Last August we were excited to join the community-build for the construction of Jefferson County’s first inclusive playground in HJ Carrol Park in Chimacum, Washington, known as the Jefferson Universal Movement Playground (JUMP!).
Since 2016, the JUMP! playground has been a community-based effort led by Sarah Grossman and Sarah McNulty, two physical therapists who wanted their students to have a playground they could safely use in the Chimacum School District. Today, the formation of JUMP! is a group of dedicated parents, community members, and pediatric Occupational and Physical Therapists. Nakano Associates joined their efforts as the landscape architect to bring their efforts for an inclusive playground into its final phase.
What is an inclusive playground?
Rooted in universal design principles, inclusive playgrounds strive to be spaces where every child -regardless of ability or disability- can explore and be active. Inclusive playgrounds provide a diversity of motor and multi-sensory experiences so that everyone is welcome and encouraged to play. They also approach children’s needs holistically, integrating ways to stimulate and hone social-emotional, sensory development, cognition, communication, and physical needs.
When we arrived at HJ Carroll Park the JUMP! Playground the hardscape was almost complete. Playground contractors from CME Play were placing finishing touches on river rock rivulets at the entrance of the playground.
The main play structure was being hoisted into place and the slides were in the process of being bolted in. This and other play structures on site were chosen for its ability to accommodate the needs of children of differing physical abilities. This one features a seamlessly integrated wheelchair ramp and landing platform.
Gorgeous orca whale sculptures flank the playstructure so that children can clamber up and down their back and sit on their dorsal fin. We soon got to work moving the mother and calf sculpture, bolted in their footings, hoisted them into place, and set them in after a mini excavator/ dug the footing holes.
The playground’s theme is “Salish Sea” evidenced through different Pacific Northwest ocean iconography ranging from orca whales to sea snails and plankton.
Working together with Chimacum community members, it was exciting to participate in the transformation from design documents into the first phase of construction. We are excited to be part of future community builds, and the groundbreaking! It has been an honor to work with such a passionate, dedicated team and to provide an imaginative playground for all children. For more information on the JUMP! playground, check out their website at https://www.jumpplayground.org/.