Above and Beyond
Kevin Hammersmith Memorial Park Accessible Playground
New Albany, Ind.
There are 2,200 children with special needs in New Albany-Floyd County school system, located in southern Indiana, immediately to the northeast of Louisville, Ky. The area suffered from a dearth of playgrounds designed to meet the needs of these children, and so in 2017, the idea to build an inclusive playground was born.
With the help of matching funds from Patronicity and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, residents of Floyd County were able to raise more than $109,000 for the project, which ultimately cost $1.3 million. Other donors included the Floyd County Commissioners, Floyd County Legacy Foundation, Linda Schooler, Kosair Charities, GameTime and Sinclair Recreation, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, Floyd Memorial Hospital Foundation and Samtec Cares.
Opened in May 2022, the Kevin Hammersmith Memorial Park Accessible Playground was built using play structures that not only meet but exceed the ADA guidelines for accessibility, providing fun, developmentally appropriate play activities for all ages and abilities.
The playground was designed to meet the Me2 principles of inclusive play:
- Be Fair. Create Equitable Opportunities.
- Be Included. Access Flexibility.
- Be Smart.
- Be Independent.
- Be Safe.
- Be Active.
- Be Comfortable.
Some of the inclusive play equipment GameTime provided for the project includes the Sensory Wave sound board, shaded musical instruments, wheelchair-accessible turf and ramps, and inclusive swings, slide and zip line.
For More Information:
Floyd County Parks & Recreation: www.floydcountyparks.org