Wednesday will be a day to remember at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Not because of a race or a trophy, but because the site is opening the first inclusive playground at a NASCAR facility. Designed with the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design, a program developed by PlayCore and Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities which provides an overview of why inclusion is so important, plus helpful research to help stakeholders understand diversity, inclusion, and social equity, and tips for designing inclusive play environments that benefit the whole child, whole environment, and whole community®.
Designed by Play and Park Structures, the playground includes activities that encourage collaborative play, and key inclusive elements that provide a meaningful, sensory-rich play experience for people of all abilities. The system includes cozy spaces, ramped access, shade structures, and a raceway theme, including a poured rubber “track” around the playground. See the plan here https://bit.ly/2r9V5kr
“This project is near and dear to our company’s core values of integrity, respect, growth and community,” says Pocono Raceway CEO and Mattioli Foundation Director, Nick Igdalsky. “We chose to build and open a playground for kids of all ability levels.”
“We were honored to be selected to design and build this play system,” added Michele Chandler, Director of Marketing for Play and Park Structures. “We’re so excited that NASCAR and the Pocono Raceway are being honored for their dedication to family activities, and to ensuring that all children and families have access to meaningful play.”
To continue to celebrate Pocono Raceway’s commitment to advancing play and recreation through best practices, they will receive a certificate of recognition, become a part of a network of potential research sites, and will be promoted actively to other communities wishing to create recreation spaces using design and/or programming. The playground will be another amenity available to race weekend camping and Infield Block Party guests. It will also be open to local residents and track visitors to use throughout the spring, summer and fall months free of charge.
To locate the new site, and other National Demonstration Sites, check out www.playcore.com/nds/map.