Northglenn Sensory Playground | Accessible Adventures

Northglenn, CO

Northglenn Sensory Park offers adventures for all abilities. Design Concepts worked with Northglenn Parks and Planning Staff as well as service providers for senior and disabled communities, and the Adams County 12 School District, to transform the two-acre site of an aging playground into a park with fun, imaginative, and safe opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. The goal was to make the entire park accessible not only for children with disabilities, but also parents and grandparents with disabilities who wish to play with able-bodied children. 

The design uses whimsical art as well as stimulating sounds, fragrances, and textures. Custom arched metal gateways with cut-outs of children welcome park visitors, and sound panels and etched boulders embellish a creative play area. Stainless-steel "drum" stools provide musical opportunities. Six picnic shelters give plenty of space for family gatherings. In the waterplay area, stars embedded in the walk will emit mist and streams of water. A sensory garden (to be planted in the next phase of construction) will feature trees, shrubs, and perennial plants such as sages, lavenders, and ornamental grasses. Looping through the garden is a wavy walk that undulates up and down in elevation, offering thrills for children riding tricycles, rollerblading, and using wheelchairs. 

Northglenn Sensory Park surpasses federal regulations (ADA requires 50% accessibility) by providing nearly 100 percent accessibility for people who use wheelchairs. Instead of using ramps, which often require people using wheelchairs to get out of them to use play equipment, Design Concepts designed different levels throughout the park that allow direct access to play equipment. 

The rubber surfacing at the play areas is brightly colored with eye-catching designs, and utilizes a tire-recycling incentive program administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which provided substantial cost savings. 

An area for seniors has chess tables, benches with backs, and a raised stage. The teen area will have a large rope structure which will include a hammock, a climbing structure, and swinging bridge, scheduled for the final construction phase.

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