Pacific Play’s Inclusive Playground Project completed for the City of Temecula’s Margarita Park Receives Prestigious Award of Excellence for Design and Park Planning from CPRS
San Diego-based Pacific Play Systems and its inclusive playground project for the City of Temecula’s Margarita Park have just been awarded an Award of Excellence by the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS). The CPRS’s awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in various disciplines including park planning, facility design, community improvement and programming, and communication and marketing. Pacific Play was selected for Excellence in the Park Planning & Development category. Begun in the summer of 2014 and completed in early 2015, the $1.4M Margarita Park was created to be an impressive play destination with a strong focus on providing play opportunities for children with special needs.
The Margarita Park project consisted of two unique playgrounds that are both fully ADA wheelchair ramp accessible. Manufactured by West Coast-based Playcraft Systems and installed by Perpetual Parks and Playgrounds, one of the playgrounds is designed for children ages 5-8 and the other for children ages 5-12. Temecula Councilman Mike Naggar, who is known as a champion for expanding opportunities for special needs children, spoke passionately at the park’s opening ceremony, “This is more than just a place to come and just slide down the slide. This is an experience, and this is almost a whole-body experience for those who have special needs. I’m elated, I can’t even take it all in.” Each inclusive playground at Margarita Park is filled with popular components ranging from an abundance of activity panels (which are great for children with limited mobility), to a wide variety of climbers and slides, with something for every age and ability level. The bright, vibrant colors chosen for both play systems were another design element Pacific Play used to create an appealing play experience for children with special needs.
In addition to the two impressive Playcraft playgrounds, an amazing Splash Pad was also installed at Margarita Park. Manufactured by Rain Drop and installed by California Waters, this splash pad provides a wide variety of water play activities, all of which offer a high degree of accessibility for special needs children. Speaking of the splash pad, Councilman Naggar commented, “The splash pad is very special. When you are ‘special needs,’ one thing that is common with most kids in the spectrum is that they have a high sensitivity to water, meaning that they are fascinated by it, so it is very stimulating and comforting to them.” Naggar concluded his speech by saying, “Somebody told me as the splash pad was going on, can you point out the kids with special needs? And, I said no, and they said that’s exactly the point, happy is happy, that’s inclusion and that’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish and it happened here today at the grand opening.”
In addition to the inclusive playgrounds and splash pad at Margarita Park, the project also entailed several other aspects of work. This work included the furnishing and installation of multiple shaded picnic areas, concrete seat walls, benches, a shower area, sensory garden, water and sand play area, and more. The Margarita Park project not only represents an impressively designed park space with an abundance of play opportunities, but it also represents a community coming together and celebrating children with special needs.