The need for childhood play is well documented. Play stimulates the imagination; helps grow fine and gross motor skills; encourages speech and language development; and develops social skills.
Playgrounds and play are a vital part of childhood development. Sadly children with physical disabilities and those on the autism spectrum are often denied access to the benefits of outdoor play. The Play for All Playground & Garden Foundation is committed to ensuring that play is accessible to all DuPage County children, regardless of ability.
The foundation board has been hard at work over the winter months planning and raising funds for the park’s future phases. Last October, the Sensory Garden Playground hosted a group of more than 30 members from the Lisle and Wheaton chambers of commerce for an after-hours mixer highlighting the playground’s accomplishments and unveiled plan details for the upcoming accessible tree house project.
Guests were treated to a virtual reality tour of the tree house courtesy of the planners at Hitchcock Design Group and heard from parents whose families have benefited from the inclusive play space.
The tree house design announced at the fall mixer includes ADA-compliant boardwalks that will allow visitors to travel up 11 feet into the tree line and will surround a central two-floor play space that can be accessed by visitors in wheelchairs. Other future project highlights will include a gravity rail, slides, spinners and netting all designed to encourage accessible and integrated play.
The first phase, which includes a 2-5-year-old playground, sound and fragrance gardens, central gathering area and interactive musical sculptures, will remain open during the installation of the tree house.
As part of its fundraising and outreach efforts, the Play for All Playground & Garden Foundation partnered with the Fun Run in Color that took place on April 14 in downtown Wheaton. The family friendly walk/run features four color stations and a post-race color toss with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Sensory Garden Playground.
This spring and summer the foundation looks forward to another season of Play Days with partners the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association and the Wheaton Park District. The Play Days will kick off on May 19 at 10A with the tree house ground breaking ceremony. See the following pages for a complete Play Day schedule and details.
The park is free and open year round from dawn to dusk.
For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation visit playforalldupage.org.