A playground for all

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester opens wheelchair accessible playground, sensory garden
June 27, 2019 at 8:12 a.m.
A playground for all
A playground for all

By By Sarah Wolpoff- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

There is now a playground in Rye Brook that’s accessible to anyone, regardless of their physical abilities.

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester (CPW) had a ribbon cutting on Saturday, June 15, to officially open the new Harmony Park Playground and Sensory Garden. As the sun beamed down without a cloud in the sky, roughly 30 elected officials, donors, CPW staff and a few patrons gathered at the new park in a courtyard at the facility to celebrate the future joys it will likely bring.

“When is a playground more than a playground?” asked local Assemblyman Steve Otis at the ribbon cutting. “The answer is here, this playground, that has been designed specifically to make a big difference in the lives of people who use this wonderful facility.”

Founded in 1949, CPW is a non-profit organization that provides educational, vocational and recreational services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities and neurological impairment.

Linda Kuck, the CPW executive director, said children with physical disabilities have limited play opportunities due to availability and accessibility. However, because outdoor play helps develop confidence, physical and social skills, the 1186 King St. facility started fundraising for the Harmony Park Playground and Sensory Garden in 2011 to benefit the community they serve.

The play space is positioned in a courtyard between classrooms at the facility. Each room has a wheelchair accessible exit leading to the courtyard so children and adults of all abilities can easily enjoy the park.

There is ample room between the new colorful features and playground equipment, which are designed with the intent to stimulate different senses, so CPW patrons with wheelchairs have space to explore and roam as they desire. In an afternoon, they can enjoy a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round or the Sway Fun Glider, a spacious structure with benches and tables that gently rocks up and down.

In the middle of the playground, next to an umbrella pavilion area helpful in beating the heat, water flows through a multilevel waterplay table. On the edges of the park, visitors can easily approach giant bongos, a vertical xylophone, an interactive music game or raised flower beds containing colorful flora and herbs.

According to CPW Development and Public Relations Coordinator Tia Levinson, the Harmony Park Playground and Sensory Garden is a private space only openly available to patrons of the facility. However, at this point anyone in the public is welcome to make an appointment to reserve the park for an afternoon.


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