Wheelchair accessible equipment, a sensory area and the promotion of imagination will be some of the features of a completely redeveloped playground at Limerick’s People’s Park.
Limerick City and County Council are undertaking a major upgrade of the popular playground to provide inclusive play provision and accessibility for children of all abilities and ages.
Funding has been provided by the Elected Members of the Metropolitan District of the Council and Limerick Sports Partnership. Garden Escapes Ireland Ltd, a company who specialise in the design of play and sports areas, won the contract to deliver the project following a tendering process.
This will be the first fully inclusive and fully accessible playground in Limerick city. The combination of equipment provides a wide-ranging design full of accessible, inclusive equipment, offering sliding, swinging, climbing, bouncing, spinning, balancing, socialising and imaginative play opportunities to be enjoyed by all.
The playground will include fully wheelchair accessible equipment, including a roundabout, a trampoline and sand digger. Other equipment will be accessible by transfer. A wide slide on the embankment of the existing park will allow kids and carers to slide together. The swing sets contain a large bucket moulded seat and lockable “roller coaster” style harness; this harness allows children without the muscular strength and co-ordination to remain upright in a swing seat to still enjoy the swinging sensation with their peers. A sensory area will have numerous games panels, musical panels and a story telling area.
The visual aesthetic of the overall design is of a natural adventurous playground; the vast majority of the equipment is manufactured from natural robinia timber materials which is highly durable and low maintenance. The surfacing is of natural appearance with extensive use of sand surfacing, grass mats and resin-bound rubber mulch throughout the playground. The design makes extensive use of the site topology, using the green embankment areas for slides, climbing and an adventure trail. The expanded play area will allow many children to gather and play together.
The Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Francis Foley said: “The new playground will be a game changer for children of all abilities. The current playground has come to its natural end of life and a new playground is needed for the city. The redevelopment will ensure that kids have a safe and exciting environment to play together, explore new equipment and let their imaginations run free.”
Carmel Lynch, Head of Parks and Senior Executive Engineer with Limerick City and County Council said: “Inclusivity is now a basic requirement for any new playground. The new People’s Park Playground will see the removal of all the existing surfacing and playground equipment. The new design is a steer away from the traditional type of playground and provides opportunities for more imaginative and creative play.”
The works will commence in early June and will take approximately 6-8 weeks to complete.
Limerick City and County Council regret the disruption that this will cause.
Details on playgrounds in Limerick can be found at this link: Playgrounds | Limerick.ie