The Evergreen Rotary Park Inclusive Playground is Bremerton and Kitsap County's first fully accessible playground, designed to provide play opportunities for all children regardless of ability. The inclusive playground is situated at the northern portion of Evergreen Rotary Park located a 3/4 mile from downtown Bremerton at 1500 Park Avenue.
The project also included general site and parking improvements and was primarily grant funded comprised of a $160k Community Development Block Grant, $211k Recreation and Conservation Local Parks Grant, $10k Department of Natural Resources Grant, $40k Department of Ecology Grant and over $100k of donations raised by Bremerton;s Beyond Accessible Playground (BBAP) group from community members and local service clubs. BBAP includes families with children having a range of disabilities and has been instrumental in project design, raising funds to provide the local match and assisting with volunteer work parties during playground construction.
The project design goes beyond the minimum accessibility standards to create a play environment that includes everyone and challenges them at their individual level.
Playground components include:
fully supportive swings with harness providing greater stability for kids with limited upper body mobility
double-wide deck structure with guardrails allowing individuals in wheelchairs access to a variety of elevated play components including a periscope looking out to the water and several slides at various heights
play panels and at-grade activities anyone can reach
glider where children and adults in wheelchairs can sway together
transfer stations with ramps that reach all elevated play activities
hammock swing allowing multiple kids to swing together encouraging interactive play with easy transfer from a wheelchair or walker
rope structure with multiple climbers, spinners, ladders
tall slide that keep kids challenged both physical and mentally
playground signage utilizing a combination of pictures, symbols and words to aid in non-verbal communication
An artificial turf product was selected for the safety surfacing to maximize wheelchair maneuverability and for its antistatic properties. This is one of many important factors researched prior to selecting materials as plastic and other materials that generate static electricity can damage cochlear implants worn by children and adults with a hearing impairment. In fact, all the materials selected for our beyond accessible playground are anti-static and latex free so that children and adults with hearing impairments and allergies can happily play.