Inclusive Playground Taking Shape in Vancouver

Harper’s Playground is bringing its innovative model for radically inclusive playgrounds to Vancouver with the reimagined Chelsea Anderson Play Station (CHAMPS) at Marshall Park — its largest playground to date at Marshall Park.  

In partnership with the City of Vancouver, Washington, Harper’s Playground is building the city’s first inclusive playground. The Marshall Park project addresses the community’s need for accessible public outdoor play spaces. The re-envisioned playground will be physically, socially and emotionally inviting and feature play areas explorable by all and equipment that fosters collaboration among users of diverse abilities.

The original firefighter theme will live on to honor the memory of Chelsea Anderson and the Vancouver Firefighters who built the original playground back in 1999 by including a fire truck as an interactive play space, as well as many other pieces of reclaimed firefighter gear throughout.

The Kuni Foundation helped support this exciting effort through two grants totaling $101,000.

Harper’s Playground’s work began in 2009 when Co-Founder and Chief Play Officer G Cody QJ Goldberg’s 5-year-old daughter Harper tried to approach a play structure in her walker at the park a few blocks from their home and got stuck in the wood chips. Cody and Harper’s mom, April, were determined to make a more inclusive playground for Harper and all children.

Marshall Park is a centrally located park in Vancouver, easily accessed by public transit and close to community assets including Legacy Health’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, Luepke Senior Center and the Marshall Community Center.

The playground will feature fully explorable areas with smooth paths, sloping hills, skate ramps for both wheelchair users and skateboarders and accessible equipment.

A recent tour of the construction site provided an exciting view into the power of inclusive play.

The playground is scheduled to open Spring 2023.

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