A Guide to Building an Inclusive Park

We all love activities. They are enjoyable and also contribute to overall physical and mental health. Going to the park is a brilliant way for people to leave their homes and engage in activities. Also, parks are a haven for children who love nothing more than doing fun activities while hanging around other kids. Unfortunately, some, if not most, parks are not inclusive enough to accommodate all persons, even those with disabilities. It is a shame that some people miss out on the fun for reasons beyond their control. It doesn’t have to be the case. Building inclusive parks ensure that everyone is free and comfortable in the park. Here is a guide to building an inclusive park:

Engage the community in the planning stage

The first step is planning and preparation. Involve members of the community to understand their needs. They are more likely to have expert knowledge of what individuals in the area need most. Be sure to engage community members from diverse backgrounds. That way, you will cater to everyone’s needs. Provide channels for the community to offer feedback and suggestions about how they need the park to be.

Select a site

Once you know the community’s needs, the next step is finding a suitable location for the park. The place ought to have proper drainage and be accessible to the community it is to serve. People will be more likely to visit the park when it is in a central place. Find a location with access roads for people to reach the park without trekking. In the spirit of inclusivity, ensure ample parking spaces and management to make it easier for those with disabilities.

Draft a layout for the park

Create a layout that includes different sections. You could use trees and plants to define the zones. It is a double win since the environment will be better for it. Have paths in your plans for people to access the different amenities in the area more freely. They also make it easier for people with wheelchairs and other disabilities to sample the park and move from place to place. Ensure that each section has a restroom, picnic area, and play areas. Be sure to fence the area to avoid cases of missing children.

Select proper equipment

Once the layout is ready, the next step is sourcing equipment for the park. Use the layout plan to determine the best place to position your equipment. Try to have similar equipment in one area. That will make it easier for children with varying abilities to participate in the same activity together and interact. Consider setting up eco-friendly playground equipment that is excellent for the environment. Ensure that you get a wide range of equipment to cater to children of different ability levels.

Do not forget support features

Various support features will make the park safe and inclusive for everyone. Such support features include seats that cater to people with varying ability levels. Another necessary element is to have toilets that will ensure disabled people feel comfortable.  Also, don’t forget to have a safety care kit in case of emergencies.

To sum up

Inclusivity is essential in all areas of life. No one should feel left out because they look different from their neighbour. Public places like parks should be the first to demonstrate that. Building inclusive parks is a good start in avoiding the isolation of people with disabilities.