Elliston Park (Calgary, AB)
What is an inclusive playground?
An inclusive playground goes beyond minimum accessibility standards to provide an environment where children (and citizens) of all abilities and needs can interact. “Inclusive” spaces utilize a set of universal design principles that guide the placement and overall function of the play structures, pathways, seating, equipment and other amenities. An inclusive playground is designed for equitable participation that would support the needs of a person with mobility limitations but might also cater to the needs a child who is visually impaired or living with Autism. In an inclusive playground, children, families and caretakers can play together in the same space, regardless of ability, needs, age, gender, culture, or race.
In late 2020, the City of Calgary announced new infrastructure investments for 2020-21, to support a more competitive, accessible and resilient city during a year of unprecedented challenges. This resulted in Calgary Parks receiving $16M in funding towards Parks infrastructure projects, funded through the provincial Municipal Stimulus Fund (MSP). The Forest Lawn Community Association partnered with the City of Calgary and Parks Foundation to utilize some of this funding to upgrade an existing end of life playground in an underserved section of the City that will nurture social connection and well-being for individuals of a variety of ages, abilities, and sociocultural backgrounds. The playground location was chosen as Elliston is a regional park with adequate parking asphalt pathways and a public washroom.
Parks Foundation has awarded Park N Play Design the contract to supply and install the playground and accompanying gathering space. Key elements of the design include:
- Designed to be multigenerational and accommodate all ages and abilities
- Thoughtfully designed utilizing Playcore’s National Demonstration Site Program (NDS), which was developed through third party academic research to enrich quality of play for all users. (This park qualifies for NDS Inclusive designation.)
- Equipment highlights include: Side by side monkey bars, Shadow Flower, Air Walker, Inclusive Whirl, Conveyer Belt, Skyline Zip Track, Giant Star Net, Expression Swing
- Includes many levels of sensory, cognitive and auditory rich experiences, which encourage healthy risk taking and equal play opportunities
- Includes shaded seating and areas for gathering
Address: 17th Avenue SE and 68th Street SE, Calgary, AB
Age range: 2-12 years old
Surfacing: Pour-in-place rubber
Accessibility: This playground is fully accessible with Pour-in-place rubber surfacing, multiple transfer areas, and ramps with high play-value.
We'd like to give a special thanks to our photographer, Mariah Wilson, for taking these wonderful photos. You can find her other work on Instagram @mariahlee.studios.
Heading to this park? Share a photo on Instagram and tag us @parknplaydesign!