Universally-Accessible Playground

Universally-Accessible Playground Coming 2022

The Community Foundation is building the first universally-accessible playground in the region, designed to promote inclusivity and the health and wellbeing of ALL children. And because the playground will be fully accessible, parents and grandparents who have physical limitations will be able to enjoy playing with their children and grandchildren. This extraordinary $1.5 million+ playground-park on the downtown Lansing riverfront will be a destination for families throughout our region and beyond.

The Community Foundation’s designers have far exceeded ADA requirements in order to create a completely barrier-free environment where all children and adults, regardless of ability, can play side-by-side throughout the entire park. Children with sensory disabilities or developmental disabilities will have lots to explore as well. The playground-park will maximize inclusivity and normalize differences, while promoting the healthy development of all children for generations to come.

Would you like to get involved?

The Community Foundation will match all private funds raised, dollar for dollar. Sponsorships are available for playground equipment, the pavilion, riverside deck, and playground naming rights. Multi-year pledges are accepted. Sponsorships include permanent, artistic signage. Individual donations toward the construction of the playground can be made by clicking here.

For more information or if you have any questions or input on the park, contact Laurie Baumer, Executive Vice President of the Community Foundation, at (517) 281-9054 or lbaumer@ourcommunity.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the new universally-accessible playground-park

We’re thrilled with the overwhelming positive feedback on our new universally-accessible playground project! Every area of the park will be accessible to children of all abilities, and we’re working hard to ensure the waterfront can be safely enjoyed by all.

The Community Foundation is developing the downtown Lansing riverfront because it is an underutilized asset in our community that should be accessible and safely enjoyed by everyone. The location provides an opportunity for children of all abilities to experience water features that they may not otherwise have. We were inspired by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, who is developing its riverfront and including an all-access playground for children next to the water.

In response to safety concerns raised by a few of the families we surveyed, we are adding a fence to enclose the playground and help prevent children from running to the water without supervision. Families who are concerned about the water can enjoy the playground and avoid the riverfront altogether. Further, the boardwalk and platform at the river’s edge will have safety cabling, even though the river is extremely shallow at this site.

Among a few riverfront sites considered, this site was chosen because of its existing barriers to the roads. The base of the park is sunken, with natural grass embankments topped by heavy railing. The embankments also help reduce traffic noise for children who are sensitive to this.

The park will have its own parking lot exclusively for people with disabilities, with 14 barrier-free spaces. In addition, there is plenty of street side parking. LCC hopes to offer overflow parking in their new ramp during off-peak class times. The City of Lansing has agreed to provide a safety crosswalk and are willing to add a bus loading/unloading zone on Grand Avenue.

Yes, Disability Network and Mid-Michigan Autism Association assisted with the park’s design to ensure we were meeting our goals for safety and to meet the needs of children with disabilities of all types. In addition, approximately 50 families who have children with disabilities responded to a survey by Quality and Impact Data Solutions; all responses were positive and many helpful suggestions received have been incorporated with the park’s design.

Yes, there will be a pavilion, a picnic area under a shade sail, and several benches for parents and caregivers to watch their children play.

Yes, there are several existing shade trees and others may be planted if funding allows.

Yes, there will be a quiet place with benches to the side of the playground, away from the activity. Also, the new parking lot exclusively for people with disabilities is located in the park, just steps away from the playground.