What was once a pile of dirt and an idea has been completed — and children and families in the Santa Clarita Valley can now enjoy the new inclusive play area at West Creek Park in Valencia, announced Santa Clarita city officials.
The Santa Clarita City Council hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning to celebrate the grand opening of the new inclusive play area at West Creek Park. The inclusive play area includes equipment for people of all ages and abilities and is the second of its kind built by the city, with the first one being in Canyon Country.
“I do want to mention that the finished play area you see today is a direct result of the input and partnership that we have with our community,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs. “Many of the play area amenities that are incorporated stem from the ideas, feedback or preferences provided by community members that occurred during our outreach process.”
The old playground at West Creek Park measured approximately 5,200 square feet, and the new inclusive play area was made to be approximately 15,800 square feet. Some key features included in the expansion are a Bankshot Play court, a basketball court with various heights, non-conventional backboards, a dual-track inclusive zipline, a roller slide and more.
“The park also includes a wide range of sensory elements that I encourage you all to explore after we are done here today,” Gibbs said. “These amenities combined with the play equipment allow children to further develop their physical, cognitive, sensory and social skills in a very fun and engaging way.”
Representatives from the offices of Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District, and Rep. Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, joined city officials during the grand opening.
Garrett Henry, spokesman for Garcia’s office, said the park will be enjoyed by many generations to come.
“I’m always amazed here at the innovative ideas that our wonderful city implements,” Henry said.
Maryann Yao, a resident of West Creek, said she was thrilled about the new play area. She was so moved about the park that she had tears in her eyes.
“My child is 3 and half years old with autism. I actually wrote to the city of Santa Clarita to build something that would be inclusive. I’m so happy they have fences all over. Even if my son climbs all the way up there, I wouldn’t be worried that he’d fall off,” Yao said.
There were many parents and children in attendance of the grand opening who were more than eager for hours of play. Once city officials cut the red ribbon, children ran into the new playground to do just that — play.