Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Universally Accessible Playground Dedication at Hazard Park

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated a Universally Accessible Playground (UAP) at Hazard Park on June 5, 2008. The new playground is the 9th UAP operated by the Department.

The first west coast Accessible Playground began with one mother. In March of 1997 Catherine Curry-Williams gave birth to a son, Shane, who died two weeks later of spinal muscular atrophy (a disorder that would have left him severly disabled had he survived). Catherine's sister-in-law sent her an article from an East Coast paper about another family who also lost a child. They had turned their grief into action by creating a playground.

Inspired by the story, Catherine and her husband Scott did their research and learned that there were no wheelchair-accessible playgrounds on the west coast. They decided to take action. Catherine joined with a friend, Tiffany Harris, and together they created a non-profit organization called SHANE'S INSPIRATION.

Their mission is to create a truly unique recreational environment in Los Angeles that provides an opportunity for children with disabilities to play at their highest level, enhancing their emotional, physical and social development, as well as teaching compassion and acceptance.

The City of Los Angeles has joined with Shane's Inspiration to build 8 UAPs in City parks and there are nine additional playgrounds on the drawing board.

Hazard Park's UAP is approximately 6,900-sqaure-feet. Features include swing sets, a water play area and interactive components, all on a colorful and resilient surface. There are also benches, a drinking fountain, an irrigation system and landscaping.

The playground was designed by the Bureau of Engineering's Architectural Division, Cornerstone Studios Inc. and Shane's Inspiration. The contractor was Malibu Pacific Tennis Courts, Inc. The project was funded by California Proposition 40 ($602,600) and the City's Capital Improvement Expenditure Program ($66,000).

Hazard Park is located at 2230 Norfolk Street, Los Angeles 90033. For more information on this location or any other parks and/or programs visit the Department website at http://www.laparks.org/ or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294

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