A new playground intended to be accessible for children with physical and social challenges will open in the fall in Riverfront Park, city leaders announced Wednesday.
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward, Parks Director Garrett Jones and Providence Health Care Chief Operating Officer Peg Currie unveiled the design for “Providence Playspace,” a privately funded, 8,000-square-foot playground in the center of Spokane’s downtown attraction, at an event Wednesday. The accessible play area will include accommodations for wheelchairs, play equipment intended to be calming to those with cognitive and social delays and shading for hot summer days, according to the plans.
“We want to care for our community not only in our hospitals, but we also want to take care of our community here, where play needs to happen, where inclusivity needs to happen,” said Currie, whose organization donated the $1 million to build the playground located at the north end of the orange bridge near the U.S. Pavilion.
Shane’s Inspiration, a California-based nonprofit specializing in the design of playgrounds for children who have developmental difficulties, created the plans for Providence Playspace. Shane’s Inspiration playgrounds can be found in more than a dozen U.S. states.
Jones said the design includes a sand table for tactile play, a sensory wall with tactile elements to engage all five senses, musical features and more. There also will be two family restrooms that are handicap-accessible , according to the city.
“Every play element inside the design will be inclusive for all,” Jones said, noting it’s the first playground of its type within city limits.
The inclusive playground on Havermale Island is a separate project from the $9.3 million regional playground under construction on the bank of the Spokane River north of the U.S. Pavilion.
That project, which now is set to include basketball courts, a skate park and a splash pad water feature, is scheduled to be completed in November, according to contract documents.
The majority of that project’s funding comes from the $64 million in taxpayer-supported bonds and interest, and it is the final signature piece of the park’s renovation begun in 2016.
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