Residents in the West Creek Park area of Santa Clarita are soon going to have an all new inclusive play area, the second in the city. On August 22nd, the city held a groundbreaking ceremony to expand the current 5,200 square foot park to approximately 15,800 square feet, which will feature more space for children of all ages, as well as room for parents to sit and watch. The park will also have completely new equipment.
An all inclusive playground is different from other playgrounds in many ways. Traditional playgrounds have one purpose, to have fun – and they generally only appeal to a specific demographic. Inclusive playgrounds differ in that they allow all children to participate, no matter how old they are, or what physical or mental abilities they have. The park has elements that allows children to play and learn cognitive, social, physical and sensory skills.
Inclusive playgrounds have become popular the last few years because of the positive impact they have on children. Many park building groups have teamed up with non profit and children centered groups, like The Miracle League and Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorders.
Studies have shown that when a child has a specific activity that’s geared toward their skills, not only are they entertained, but they also tend to do better in school. Instead of just being for play, these parks also serve as a learning environment.
Some examples of the kind of activities and elements that the playground will feature include basketball hoops at different heights, a dual-track zipline, roller slide, and swings that can accommodate children of all ages and abilities.
Other amenities include various play areas, with some areas being geared towards younger children and other areas being geared towards school aged children, a fence that covers the perimeter of park with an exception of two entrances, and overhead awning-like coverings that provide shade for the entire playground. Although an extra cost, the shade covering will allow children and families to not only come during the hottest part of the day, but also stay longer.
The project is being done as a result of input and collaboration with the Santa Clarita Community, with specific elements in the park being designed with the collaboration of residents in the area and stakeholders. One of the main goals of the group was to have space and plenty of opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to participate.
The park is expected to serve thousands of children in the area every year as the city continues to grow near the 225,000 total population mark. Vista Canyon Park, which opened in March of this year, is another inclusive park in Santa Clarita that serves the same purpose and has similar amenities. The overall feedback of Vista Canyon park has been overwhelmingly positive, meaning that it’s very possible that more of these parks will continue to be built.
The park will be located at 24247 Village Circle, Santa Clarita. For more information about the new park and for additional updates, please contact Elena Galvez at (661) 255-4911.