Young girl's wish to make play accessible to all is realized at Taylor's Dream Playground in Fort Wayne
New Inclusive Play Area in Indiana Featuring Playworld Equipment Officially Opens
LEWISBURG, PA (June 10, 2011) – Playworld, a leading manufacturer of imaginative, customized commercial play and fitness equipment, today announced the opening of a new inclusive playground in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which features the company’s equipment. The ribbon-cutting for Taylor’s Dream Playground in Kreager Park took place this afternoon, with numerous local dignitaries, financial supporters, residents and representatives from Playworld Midstates, Boundless Playgrounds, CVS/pharmacy, Pepsico, Turnstone, League for the Blind and Disabled, YMCA, AWS and Easter Seals Arc joining the celebration.
The idea of Taylor’s Dream Playground began when an 11-year-old girl, Taylor Reuille, realized that there were children with disabilities who couldn’t fully utilize many playgrounds. Four years later, the new inclusive playground in Fort Wayne allows children of all abilities to play together, and includes amenities that address the needs of children with physical, developmental, cognitive and sensory disabilities.
“This playground is even better than I imagined and I know it’s because so many people worked together to make it a reality,” said Reuille. “Now my friend Mallory, who was my inspiration for this playground, can play with all the other kids. No one has to sit by the sidelines and feel left out anymore.”
After Taylor’s Dream won the Pepsi Refresh Challenge last summer, the playground was awarded $70,000, with $40,000 made possible by CVS/pharmacy as part of their All Kids Can program and $30,000 from a Pepsi Refresh grant.
“We are excited that our equipment is helping to make Taylor’s dream a reality,” said Ian Proud, research manager for Playworld. “Playground equipment plays a vital role in the social development of all children and everyone involved in building Fort Wayne’s newest recreational area has done an outstanding job of bringing inclusive play to local residents.”
Taylor’s Dream at Kreager Park will have three pods of playground equipment and activity areas, a splash pad, accessible parking, ramps and walkways, and a picnic pavilion.
The new play area features:
The Alpha Pod, designed for younger children (2 – 5 years), provides opportunities for parallel play, group and solitary play. It also encourages role playing, socialization and creative, imaginative play. Educational panels help children identify shapes and colors.
The Beta Pod, designed for children ages 2 – 12 years old, provides an intriguing, multi-sensory themed play area featuring equipment from Playworld’ Origins product line, play elements and site amenities that seamlessly blend active outdoor play with nature. A fossilized T-Rex “skeleton” from Playworld’ Origins™ line will encourage children to imagine themselves as archaeologists, while NEOS® 360 promotes competition and teamwork by combining video game speed with aerobic activity for users of all abilities.
The Gamma Pod, designed for older children (5 – 12 years), offers broad opportunities for parallel play, group and solitary play. It also encourages role playing, socialization and creative, imaginative play. The keystone of this pod is Playworld’s Aero Glider, a multi-user rocker that provides enough room for two wheelchair users to sit side-by-side. The unique stepping platform on both ends provides an opportunity for more kids to play and increases the motion and fun. High rear rails allow adults to assist with the gliding motion while experiencing the enjoyment themselves. There are also seats on each end so that all users can enjoy the swaying motion.
Mayor Tom Henry proclaimed June 10 as “Taylor’s Dream Day” and reminded citizens that Fort Wayne has earned the distinction of being a Playful City USA, dedicated to increasing awareness of accessibility, safety education and the importance of play.
About Playworld, Inc.
For 40 years, Playworld has been a leader in creating imaginative, customized commercial play and fitness equipment that positively impacts the health and well-being of communities around the globe. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld brings the joy and benefits of healthful outdoor play to people of every age and ability through such innovative product lines as ENERGI®, LifeTrail® Advanced Wellness System, Playworld®, PlayDesigns®, NEOS® and Origins™. The multi-generational, family-owned company continues to invest significant resources to measurably reduce its impact on the environment, from taking aggressive action to eliminate PVC to enhancing its waste management and recycling programs. In fact, Playworld is the first major U.S. playground manufacturer to remove 99.999 percent of PVC from its products. Playworld offers an optimal customer experience unique in the industry – from value-added services using Microsoft Tag to personalized attention through its vast network of local distributors.
The Lewisburg, Pa.-based company has received numerous awards throughout its history, including two International Industrial Design Excellence Awards, a gold medal from International Design magazine, two News Directors’ Choice Awards on Early Childhood, and the Pennsylvania Governors’ Award for Safety Excellence. For more information, visit PlayworldSystems.com.