Centennial Park & Socially Inclusive Playground Brings Accessible Play to All in Madera!

By admin

The recent grand opening of Centennial Park & Socially Inclusive Playground in Madera was a smashing success! With a strong community need for a socially inclusive play space, the City of Madera, its citizens, and O’Dell Engineering worked together to create an accessible, unique, and wonderful recreational opportunity for the City.

O’Dell Engineering provided civil engineering, land surveying, and landscape architecture design services for this City of Madera project. Funded through a low income incentive program, the project included renovations to the existing Centennial Park, located adjacent to the John W. Wells Youth Center. Improvements include a socially inclusive play space, ADA access retrofits, new site lighting, irrigation retrofits, restrooms, and picnic facilities. Being a socially inclusive playground, it was very important to include a wide variety of activities and exciting aesthetics in the space. The centerpiece of the playground is a custom play structure accessed via ramped pathways or stairs to ensure complete access. Theming for the park was inspired by the idea of a road trip through California, and includes custom elements such as a wave path to stimulate balance and sensations of dizziness and custom sculptural elements resembling oversized California poppies. California flora plays into this theme, including hardy manzanita to reference the Sierra’s landscape and dwarf olive for an agricultural tie to the Central Valley.

O’Dell Engineering is an avid supporter and promoter of inclusive play environments. The emphasis of socially inclusive playgrounds (a term coined by O’Dell Engineering) is not on helping children with disabilities to adjust to and accept the play environment, but rather designing the play environment to meet the needs and abilities of all children. Inclusive play environments are a fundamental statement about social values and children’s right to play.

We are overjoyed to see the Madera community enjoying this park and socially inclusive playground!

To see more about Centennial Park & Socially Inclusive Playground, watch this video.

To learn more about the public outreach process that occurred during the design, watch this video.

To learn more about socially inclusive play design, click here.

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