08 October 2019

Nature preserve for children and disabled persons

My hiking today took me to a small gem of a nature spot: the Jenni and Kyle Preserve.
The vision for the Jenni and Kyle Preserve began in 1989 with a donation from Harvey and Patricia Wilmeth, given as a memorial to their two grandchildren, Jenni and Kyle, who both died at the age of 4 due to a degenerative neurological disorder. The Jenni and Kyle Preserve is unique in that the park is intended to serve children and persons with disabilities, and provides accessible fishing and picnic areas, trails, wheelchair swings, and a shelter building around two spring-fed ponds containing trout and panfish.
The paths are paved with asphalt to facilitate wheelchair transport, and the three wooden bridges/docks on the ponds project out so that those in wheelchairs can have direct access to the water for fishing (permitted in the preserve only for those under age 14).  But what really intrigued me were the two wheelchair-accessible swings:

The swings have fold-down ends to allow roll-on, roll-off entrance/exit and a number of security chains.

Very nicely done.  More cities and towns should have such facilities.

Reposted from 2012.


  1. Fantastic! I know even as an adult, if I were confined to a wheelchair, a swing like that would make my day. What a beautiful legacy that family has left the community.

  2. wow, i like that swing but the chains don't look sturdy enough for most chairs plus the person in it. I like the idea of an accessible park.

  3. we recently drove across the country and stopped overnight in Cleveland, OH. visited a park and they had a swing that was, i believe, built for kids or adults who couldn't sit up on their own, or even hold up their head. it looked vaguely like this one: http://www.accessibleplayground.net/2010/12/25/kits-beach-playground-makes-fun-accessible-for-all/ but the difference was in the handles. it had a matching lever/handle on either side with a simple mechanism/lever action that allowed even someone with very little muscle mass to be able to propel themselves in the swing.

    how empowering. it seriously made me teary when i realized what those funky handles were for.

  4. I wish my sweet cousin, paralyzed from the neck down since a childhood accident, was alive to hear about this park. It would have made her so happy to know young people like herself had a place in which to enjoy nature.

    I would love to see that swing while in use.

  5. http://www.libertyswing.com.au/

    This is an Australian designed swing that's often recognised as one of the best for those who aren't able bodied.

  6. Here are some other accessible places to play -treehouses, that is.

  7. I recently had both of my knees go out (one due to infection, the other due to just popping "out" in some way). Even though I am probably 70% back, I go to physical therapy in a building where the wheelchair ramp is way down on the end. When it hurts that bad to walk, you start seeing all sorts of little MINOR improvements that would make life so much easier.

    I get why many businesses find the Americans With Disabilities Act a burden. Indeed, it can be. But when you can make smart, inexpensive changes that make is SO. MUCH. EASIER to come and go, that's awesome.

    In the waiting room for physical therapy, the chairs do not have arms. So I hate to even sit down (even though it hurts to stand up). Why? I can't use the arms to propel myself up, and my knees are too painful to allow me to stand up from such a low position. But with arms....

    Another thing: Being a big guy (although that's not a disability), how nice it would be if there were always a couple of larger chairs--or for that matter love seat-type chairs--in every waiting room.

    Indeed, we need to pay a whole lot more attention to those among us who often are left out of what you and I take for granted.

  8. My daughter, Karis, pushed for accessible swings at our local park. Sometimes, all it takes is knowing who to address the letter to! We can all do this.


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