Last month the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors joined local community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the new inclusive playground Cobalt Ridge Park. The Department of Public Works broke ground in the beginning of June to replace the 17-year-old playground at Cobalt Ridge Park. This playground is one of a few in the Township that will broaden inclusive features for children of varying abilities.
The new playground has many inclusive features: wheelchair access, solitude seats designed for children on the autism spectrum, a music feature, expression swings with adaptive seating for adults and children to sit face-to-face, plus new benches and trash cans.
“We are pleased to expand our inclusive parks for residents with varying abilities,” Chairperson Mike Ksiazek said. “It is part of our vision to continue to offer recreation spaces that are accessible to everyone in the community”.
“I grew up in Cobalt just a few houses away from the park, so I’m excited that kids of all abilities will be able to play, learn to socialize, and interact with their environment,” said Vice Chairperson Anna Payne.
The Cobalt Ridge Park Playground design checks all seven principles of inclusive play that qualifies it as a National Demonstration Site for Inclusion. This means that the playground illustrates community vitality across a variety of influences, including social-emotional, environmental, health, community engagement, public services, and educational opportunities.
PHOTO CAP: From left Bob Harvie, Dawn Quirple, Anna Payne, Mike Ksiazek, Dana Kane, and Diane Marseglia at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.