Tulare County Parks was one of six recipients of the Grants for Community Integration for Children and Adolescents awarded by The Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The grant amount of $450,000 will be used to purchase Inclusive Playground equipment for children and adolescents with access and functional needs and will be installed at Mooney Grove Park.
The Central Valley Regional Center (CVRC) is working together with the Parks Division of the General Services Agency on the development of this project. This project is intended to enhance and develop integrated and inclusive social recreation programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) ages 3-21.
The equipment will include a full playground unit with ramps, an inclusive orbit, a roller slide, inclusive swings, wheelchair accessibility swings, and more. The playground equipment will be multi-generational as parents, grandparents and caregivers may benefit from ramps and flat surfaces.
Albert Cendejas, Parks Manager, says, “In 2022 Tulare County Parks adopted a mission to “provide the public with welcoming environments for recreational opportunities by being stewards of outdoor green spaces at County Parks”. An all-inclusive playground does just that, we welcome everyone, and everyone gets to play!”
Tulare County District Board Supervisor Amy Shuklian, District 3 “The inclusive playground is yet another example of the county’s commitment to parks and youth. This playground will ensure that every child, regardless of their physical, sensory, or cognitive abilities, can fully participate in play activities.”
Brooke Sisk, General Services Agency Director, says, “GSA is thrilled to be a part of this unique opportunity to provide recreational opportunities for an underserved population in our community. We appreciate our partners at the Central Valley Regional Center for making this project possible.”
The playground design has been finalized and the project is scheduled to be completed in December 2023. Images of the playground design can be found on the Tulare County Parks Instagram and Facebook pages at @Tularecountyparks. This will be the first Inclusive Playground in Tulare County that is fully accessible for children and adolescents with access and functional needs.