The Madison Parks Foundation is proud to be fundraising for fully-accessible playgrounds that will be installed throughout the city. Madison is home to 176 playgrounds that are scattered across the city, but only one, so far, is fully-accessible. Playgrounds can help foster inclusive friendships and play for children of all abilities and when a child has a disability, often they lack opportunities to participate in play on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers in their environment. With opportunities provided by fully-accessible playgrounds, children with disabilities can play along, side by side with their peers, which is critical in creating a community that values inclusion and equity. These playgrounds cost 4 times as much as the other playgrounds to construct.
With community support, a total of five fully-accessible playgrounds will be strategically placed across the city at Brittingham Park (since 2017), Elver Park, Warner Park, Reindahl Park and a park yet to be determined (possibly Rennebohm or Goodman Park). According to the US Census Bureau, 1 in 5 people has a physical or cognitive disability, so these playgrounds are badly needed.
While attendance at our parks and playgrounds is not attainable at this time, we have determined the number of households within a 2-mile radius of a fully accessible playground. Prior to the first Madison Park Playground being installed at Brittingham Park, there were 17,916 households within a 2-mile service area of a fully accessible playground. Brittingham All-Inclusive Playground was constructed in 2017 and added 48,006 households within a 2-mile service area of a fully accessible playground (totaling 65,922 households). To complete our goal of adding a total of 5 all-inclusive playgrounds within our Madison Parks, the additional four playgrounds will add another 29,822 households within a 2-mile service area of fully accessible playgrounds. These five playgrounds are being strategically placed throughout the entire City of Madison to maximize the service areas bringing the total to 95,744 households within a 2-mile service area or an increase of 81% fully accessible playgrounds to the City of Madison.
Each of the 8,000 square foot playgrounds will feature a poured-in-place contiguous rubber play surface, fully ramp-connected main play structure, and stand-alone play pieces with a focus on side-by-side play as well as ease of access for visitors of any physical abilities. The playground will be located near parking with handicapped accessible spaces and the park’s shelter with accessible restrooms. All playgrounds will be connected by the park’s paved path system – an accessible route of travel. Playground equipment will include a main play structure and swings featuring accessible seats, as well as stand-alone components appealing to children of all abilities. Equipment will feature tactile elements, contrasting colors, sheltered or quiet zone areas, sound features, wide turn-arounds and ramp aisles, and play elements that can be reached from multiple points. Play experiences will appeal to both age ranges 2-5 and 5-12. The play area will also include several stand-alone items for multiple users, such as a disc swing, inclusive merry-go-round and accessible spring rider.