Legacy Grove adds sensory structures to improve inclusivity

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, July 22, 2021

Legacy Grove park has unveiled additions to their children’s play area to help ensure no child is left out. 

Joining Legacy Grove are sensory structures – play attractions that helps Legacy Grove be inclusive to children with disabilities and special needs. 

Called the “Adventure Play Area,” the playground portion of Legacy Grove has been expanded to include a fenced-in, ADA-compliant walkway for children regardless of motor-skill capabilities. The park boasts playground equipment that focus on texture – which children may find calming or interesting, and cubbyhole-like areas that let kids center themselves if they need space. 

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Also included is an area called “Exploration Creek,” where the wet potion of the park meets the dry portion, so that children who may not like the sensation of being wet can still play with the children who do. 

“So let’s say I just don’t like the sensation of water on my skin, but I don’t have the words yet to say that,” explained Beth Jones, Legacy Grove’s project manager. “With the wet-dry area, we have it so that I can play with my friends that want to be dunked in the water and I don’t, and nobody knows I’m different.”

When the opening of the new facet to the playground, local father Steven Moore nearly broke out in tears. He explained during the park’s dedication ceremony Monday that his son, Lincoln, has been dealing with spina bifida. In spite of doctors letting the family know that Lincoln may never be able to walk and talk again, his son has overcome those odds, in part because of having sensory playgrounds available allowing him the ability to play with other children. 

“So many times when you’re a parent, as many of you know, you don’t know what your kids are going to be able to do when they’re faced with challenges,” said Moore. “With prayers and hard work and family and the health-care team, [Lincoln]’s doing more than anyone ever dreamed of and a big part of that is having places like this to come.”

Legacy Greenscapes, the organization behind Legacy Grove park, has strove to provide outlets for fitness and relaxation for the widest possible audience. The park’s four pedestrian entrances were designed with ADA-compliance in mind, and the park’s walking trail serves as a one-mile paved loop along the park that’s accessible for all park-goers. 

Park restrooms have a five-foot turning radius, as well as grab bars. All amenities are placed at a height appropriate to people in wheelchairs. In addition, an adult changing table is available. L

egacy Greenscapes is also actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of their website by adhering to accepted guidelines and standards.

Legacy Grove park is located at 107 West Lexington Avenue in Winchester. For more information, contact Legacy Greenscapes via phone at (859) 355-9064, or visit www.legacygreenscapes.org/.