Design and accessibility
Friends of Stewart Park (FSP) is excited to be building the new Stewart Park Inclusive Playground in 2018, the organization’s first major park revitalization project following six busy and productive years of significant, but smaller-scale park improvement projects. With FSP’s sights set on Stewart Park’s centennial on July 4, 2021, we look forward to the 2018 construction of our lakefront gem’s new playground.
The new Stewart Park Inclusive Playground will be like no other in the region: innovatively and creatively designed by local award-winning playground design firms as an accessible and inclusive playground for children of all abilities. FSP is building this new, inclusive playground for these important reasons:
The park’s existing play equipment and splash pad are woefully out of date and do not meet current minimum safety or accessibility requirements.
The current Stewart Park Playground was not designed with accessibility in mind. Like many traditional playgrounds, this can make it difficult or even impossible for children with disabilities or mobility impairments to navigate and use the equipment and fully enjoy their playground experience. Instead of being places of inclusivity where children come together to play, traditional playgrounds, like Stewart Park’s, can become places of separation where a child might end up watching play instead of actively participating.
Features of the Inclusive Playground
- An updated, accessible splash pad.
- Specially designed pre-school and school age play areas.
- An accessible berm that provides children a starting point for exciting play experiences for all children.
- The use of native plants and sustainable building materials and site design strategies to make the playground a model for green playground design.
- Educational opportunities to interpret the natural environment of the park – the vegetation, birds, fish and wildlife that make this site so special.
- Natural play areas including a music garden and sand play area.
- Numerous swings and climbing structures, shaded seating areas and many benches for relaxing.
- A Picnic Shelter for party rentals and shady picnics.
- New accessible bathrooms and changing stalls adjacent to the playground and carousel.
- A restored and accessible Carousel (completed).
- Accessible walkways and paths linking to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail and other areas of the park and Ithaca’s waterfront.