Fri-YAY Featured Inclusive Playground

Westminister City Park and Fields

We don’t mind driving to do fun things! We already live in the middle of nowhere, so what’s an extra 10-60+ minutes when it already takes us half an hour to get anywhere decent anyway? One playground we like to visit is Westminster City Park and Fields! There is easy street parking as well as accessible spots right by the park behind 11 Longwell Dr. Westminster, MD and ramp entrance into the playground!

This park has some really fun and different features! In 2016, the park got a much needed reboot with a $275,000 grant from Community Parks and Playgrounds. Exciting side fact is that the new playground was built by the very same people who are bringing Sophie and Madigan’s Playground to life: Playground Specialists Inc. out of Thurmont, Maryland! City Park has a lot of features that are exciting like the zip line and the giant spiderweb! Centered in the playground is a large structure reminiscent of a tree with many “branches” for kids to climb on almost like a real (unattended/unharnessed) ropes course! My kids were swinging from fake branch to fake branch like little monkeys!

The park isn’t marketed as inclusive or accessible, but there are many fun things for all kids to do together! A popular one is the spinning disc! Like the old school stand up merry go rounds this disc spins and is fun for all, but it’s more inclusive because people can sit or lay! Spinning also helps with various sensory issues and being overwhelmed. The cozy pods (green and orange spheres pictured below) also spin and kids can climb in and be alone for the time they need to decompress. There are accessible swings, ramps, musical instruments, and lowered creative play areas, but a fun part was the nature hunt where all kids can look for the items around the playground! So even though the budget for this playground did not need any matching funds from the grant they received, I feel that they lack the most important accessible feature: ground cover. When you build an inclusive playground you realize how much these things cost, and it’s A LOT! Accessible ground cover is the top expense for Sophie and Madigan’s Playground, but we feel it’s worth it! We want to be inclusive and have all friends come to play with each other! There are a million parks that have inclusive features, but not too many that offer the full accessibility and we know ALL kids will benefit from this!

In the summer, especially, Westminster City Park and Fields is host to a number of family friendly activities! We’ve been to see Jah Works Reggae band(They’re actually playing this Sunday in Westminster!) in concert, and this summer we came to a free children’s event where they had numerous water activities and a FOAM PARTY! I said free, right? Definitely kid approved! Other park features include a nice shaded gazebo, tennis courts, basketball, bathrooms and water fountains, and pavilions to rent! Check out their website and visit! It’s worth the drive!

Do you want to learn more about Sophie and Madigan’s Playground, and various ways to help? Do you have a suggestion for an inclusive playground for us to check out? Let us know! libby@sophieandmadigansplayground.com

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