Lakewood’s Carmody Park Raises the Bar for Denver Area
Carmody Park is about to change the community of Lakewood, Colorado—and set a new standard for inclusive play in the Denver area. Carmody Park’s new universally accessible play environment is for people of all ages and abilities and is the most inclusive playground of its kind in greater Denver. Lakewood is hosting a Grand Opening celebration this Friday, June 28, 2017, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. which will include the park’s designers: Carol Henry, Roger Burkart, and Amber Hernandez of Design Concepts.
The Need for Accessibility Has Never Been Greater
Carmody Park provides a badly needed public asset for inclusive community play. In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. live with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The latest data from the American Community Survey show that over 500,000 children and adults in Colorado have some form of disability.
What Makes a Playground Inclusive?
“Carmody Park is a barrier-free environment. It is designed for side-by-side play by people of all abilities,” says Carol Henry, President of Design Concepts. “Design for inclusive playgrounds starts with sensitivity to the needs of children, parents, and caregivers. It understands the varying needs of different ages and abilities who want to enjoy community spaces.”
More than Accessibility – A Playground for Everyone
Design elements of the premiere new playground were inspired by nearby Carmody Pond. Topography and patterns on the play surface include a stream, pond, and island; a beaver swims between its den and nearby logs; shadows of dragonflies, butterflies, and fish fly across the play surface, tossed by custom shade shelters.
Play features are developmentally progressive, therapeutic, and kinetically engaging. They provide imaginative, cognitive, and physical play opportunities. Sensory play includes a large sand area, colorful plantings, a music zone, and shadow play. This attention to design detail will bring children opportunities for new experiences and challenges, imaginative play, and lots of fun!
Improvements in Carmody Park
In addition to the 14,000 sq.-ft. playground, Carmody Park’s first phase of renovation encompasses almost four acres of improvements, including a fitness area adjacent to the playground, basketball courts, three new shelters, a restroom facility, additional parking, and a drop-off area for cars and buses.
About Design Concepts
Founded in 1981, Design Concepts provides thoughtful, innovative, and dynamic designs for public and private spaces. Design Concepts is nationally recognized as a leader creating and re-imagining spaces that embrace community gathering, recreation and play, connections to nature, and a focus on the environment. They continue to innovate healthy communities, learning landscapes, and entertaining outdoor community places. The firm’s current work includes a variety of learning landscapes, destination parks, projects plugging ‘nature into play,’ inclusive playgrounds, new recreation amenities, and planning for communities. To learn more about the firm visit: www.dcla.net.
Mickie Courtney, Communications Manager
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