October 27, 2023
Palatine Park District recently “cut the ribbon” opening the fully accessible Eagle Park playground. The playground, located at 1425 N. Oak St., makes fun accessible to all children.
An accessible playground ensures that all areas and equipment can be accessed or reached by children or adults with physical disabilities, who use wheelchairs or other types of mobility devices.
Eagle Park playground, which was over 20 years old, now features slides, climbing apparatus with transfer stations, swings, a playhouse, musical pieces including a xylophone, and plenty of things to nourish kids’ sensory systems.
The play pieces are situated on a rubber play surface with no transition points to get in or out of the playground area. The flooring was funded in part by the Palatine Jaycees, a civic organization that gives young adults opportunities to develop leadership skills through community service.
According to Abby O’Brien, member of the Palatine Jaycees, the organization was excited to support the playground project. “Our organization wants to be as inclusive as possible,” she said. “When the Palatine Park District reached out to partner with us we were happy to contribute.” Terry Ruff, Palatine Park District Board of Park Commissioners, said the partnership with the Jaycees is invaluable. “The Palatine Jaycees are internationally recognized and their partnership, as well as our other partnerships within the community, allows us to enhance the lives of residents in numerous ways.”
According to Assistant Superintendent of Parks and Planning Amy Vito, all the senses were involved in planning this play space. “Even the flowers were chosen for their specific smells,” Vito said. The smells of Lilac, Phlox, Thyme, and Lavender waft through the play space.
“The industry standard in planning playgrounds now is to think about accessibility more and more,” Vito added.
Eagle Park also features a covered shelter with picnic tables and is located adjacent to Eagle Park Pool and preschool. Eagle Park is one of two playgrounds that were updated in 2023. Osage Park Playground, located at 2076 N. Old Hicks Rd. was also modernized.