The proposed Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto is much closer to becoming reality thanks to a $1 million matching grant by the Peery Foundation. All donations raised from last Friday until June 15 will be matched by the Peery Foundation, which will hopefully be enough to fully fund the first-of-its-kind playground accessible to all, even those with differing abilities. If full funding for the playground is reached, construction should begin in the fall.
The Magical Bridge Playground would occupy about 1.28 acres in currently unused portion of Mitchell Park, and would be the country’s first fully inclusive public playground. The targeted area of the park had originally been slated as an archery range, but that never came to fruition. The playground will have 15 zones, accessible to all, including those who may have physical limitations, areas for those who have sensory or visual issues, respite zones for those who can be overwhelmed by playground commotion. It will be like typical playground with slides, climbing areas and more, but it will include features and special equipment that make it inclusive to all, including adults. According to the the Magical Bridge Playground group, there are 10,000 disabled people in Palo Alto, yet none of the city’s existing 34 parks fully fit their needs.
Donations are being actively sought to help meet the funding goal. Prior to the Peery match, $1.1 million had been raised through individual donations. Donations can be given through the group’s Razoo site.