Friday, March 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A playground where wheelchairs can roam

Park1w

Wheelchair users like Steven Partida, right, and his son Steven can play together on an accessible playground that opens officially this week in Davis' Central Park. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | July 08, 2014 |

Somewhere in the buzz of dozens of climbing, sliding and dashing children at the new Central Park playground Monday morning, 11-year-old Leo Bugni was busy testing its worthiness as the city’s first universally accessible play area.

His favorite: The “Sway Fun” wheelchair-accessible modified teeter-totter, which allows Leo to get on and rock up and down with a group of other kids and parents.

Not all areas are accessible, but the prevalence of things to do for special-needs kids — while being interesting for other children — made Christina Hooke, mom of 6-year-old special-needs child Kira, happy to have a place where her daughter could play in town.

“It’s the first time there’s been anything she could go on,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

The old play structure at the north end of the park needed replacement due to age and safety-standard issues. The new play area includes a tall tower and slide; interactive play opportunities like kaleidoscopes, a musical climbing apparatus and balance features; and rubberized surfacing material that feels springy with each step.

The playground has a rectangular patchwork of green and yellow colors to represent the farm fields of Yolo County and complement a general agricultural theme.

The new playground doubles the size of the play area with an expansion to the north, where the “Sway Fun” and an ADA accessible water pump can pour water onto a sloping concrete sluice, complete with so-called aqua flaps that dam the water and anti-skateboard metallic bumps in the shapes of turtles. At the bottom of the sluice, hand-cranked digger scoops let kids play with the wet sand without having to get their hands dirty.

There’s also a wheelchair-accessible mock farmers market stand that Bob Bowen, Davis public relations manager, said could allow kids to imitate a stall at the nearby Farmers Market. Other agricultural touches, besides the farm water pump, are riding rockers in the form of a pig and a cow. There are two swings that have been kept from the old playground and relocated for primary-aged children.

The playground installation follows the first improvement phase of Central Park — a new ADA accessible restroom building and an ADA ramp to the lower portion of the sycamore grove.

Central Park became Davis’ first civic park in 1937, and Terry Jue, public works associate engineer, said workers discovered old utility pipes that hadn’t been mapped. Detective-like work to reveal all the relevant utilities that needed to be moved took parts of two months this spring to figure out.

“We’ve been working on this since January or February,” Jue said. “It’s really nice to see everyone using the equipment.”

Indeed, more than 50 children and parents were inside the play area Monday morning at 10 a.m., before more entered the playground in the next half-hour.

As Jue walked around the area, he pointed out engineering tidbits like plastic slides, the 3-inch-thick rubberized play surface with its 10-year estimated color lifespan and required distances between play structures. For example, a modified spinning merry-go-round called the omnispinner had to be built at least 6 feet away from a nearby tree.

“You can see the playground manufacturers have stepped up their products to ensure accessibility and safety,” he said.

As springy as the rubberized surface is, it can get hot in the sun. The city put up signs advising parents and children not to walk in bare feet. Jue said the temperature on the rubberized surface can get between 120 and 140 degrees on a sizzling day.

The playground is open now as part of a soft opening, but an official dedication ceremony is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information, call Bowen at 530-747-5816.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1

     
    Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Trial ordered in Davis child death case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    ‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

    By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    PSAs highlight area nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Peripheral neuropathy support offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Seniors serious about fitness

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

    By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

    Here’s how to make college cheaper

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Obama’s world is a dangerous place

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Dirty laundry on the company line

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women fall at UCR

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie men clinch Big West crown

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    .

    Arts

    Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10