News

Menlo Park: New playground invites kids of all abilities to romp

After nearly five months of closure, the playground at Nealon Park is back and better than ever.

The city's first all-inclusive, all-abilities playground is now also its largest, according to Menlo Park Community Services Director Derek Schweigart.

Development of the playground, which cost about $1 million, was overseen by a subcommittee on the city's Parks & Recreation Commission that offered advice to city staff on what they'd like to see and established goals to support inclusivity and "meet more needs of more children," Schweigart explained.

A community meeting early on in the process also engaged the neighborhood and enabled feedback on the playground design.

While it's still early, the initial response from local families to the new playground has been very positive, Schweigart said.

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"I went out to the playground yesterday, hoping for a quieter day, and it was amazing how many people were out there," he said. "I think people are seeing that it is quite a special park."

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Menlo Park: New playground invites kids of all abilities to romp

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 11:33 am

After nearly five months of closure, the playground at Nealon Park is back and better than ever.

The city's first all-inclusive, all-abilities playground is now also its largest, according to Menlo Park Community Services Director Derek Schweigart.

Development of the playground, which cost about $1 million, was overseen by a subcommittee on the city's Parks & Recreation Commission that offered advice to city staff on what they'd like to see and established goals to support inclusivity and "meet more needs of more children," Schweigart explained.

A community meeting early on in the process also engaged the neighborhood and enabled feedback on the playground design.

While it's still early, the initial response from local families to the new playground has been very positive, Schweigart said.

"I went out to the playground yesterday, hoping for a quieter day, and it was amazing how many people were out there," he said. "I think people are seeing that it is quite a special park."

Comments

Menlo Mom
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Menlo Mom, Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Like this comment

Almanac, could we get a little more detail on the "children of all abilities" aspect of the new equipment? I'm thrilled with the concept, but no info is given on what the equipment is or how children with differing abilities can utilize it. There's nothing in the body of the article. In the pictures I see the chair-style swings, that I know are utilized by kids with special needs, but I happen to know this because I work in grade schools. Others might not recognize them. And I see a ramp that's obviously for a wheelchair, but the picture cuts off where it's headed. Not sure why the closeups are on equipment so obviously for kids without needs. I'd love to know what the spinning item in the center is. Anyway, great addition to Menlo Park.


OneMillionDollarPlayground
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 4, 2019 at 10:09 pm
OneMillionDollarPlayground, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 4, 2019 at 10:09 pm
5 people like this

How on earth did they spend one MILLION Dollars on a playground? Think about that for a moment. I can see $150K—for something truly high-end, requiring a non-trivial amount of terrain work to make possible—but $1M? 6.5x the cost?

I would genuinely love to understand what happened here. This is crazy…


Arthur
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2019 at 11:00 am
Arthur, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2019 at 11:00 am
Like this comment


Why so expensive for something so simple.
Why did it take so long to build? There were more non work days than work days. Plus the loss of 14 parking spots during construction was an inconvenience for pedestrians and park goers.
Lighting- kids can't use it a bit after school because it gets dark so early. Seems like $1m should have bought some lighting.


Arthur
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2019 at 11:00 am
Arthur, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2019 at 11:00 am
2 people like this

Why so expensive for something so simple.
Why did it take so long to build? There were more non work days than work days. Plus the loss of 14 parking spots during construction was an inconvenience for pedestrians and park goers.
Lighting- kids can't use it a bit after school because it gets dark so early. Seems like $1m should have bought some lighting.


whstever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2019 at 1:19 pm
whstever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2019 at 1:19 pm
Like this comment

That playground price is inline with the recently completed $500,000 restroom at Fremont Park, so the young soccer players have a nice place to pee.Outhouses would have done the job for a fraction of the cost.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm
Like this comment

correction - I meant the new restrooms at Arbor/Jack Lyle Park.


Only In Menlo Park
another community
on Dec 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm
Only In Menlo Park, another community
on Dec 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm
2 people like this

Amazing how the news of a playground that can be used by *all* children is the subject of a lot of complaints, and quite frankly, a lot of narrow-minded thinking.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.


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