SANTA MONICA—North Beach Playground, Santa Monica’s third universally accessible playground, was designed with the input of children. The playground is located north of the Santa Monica Pier where Montana Avenue runs into the beach, giving families the option to include time at the playground during a day at the beach.
The playground, which opened on September 15, features barrier-free equipment and additional maneuvering spaces, such as surfaces and paths. The playground will have separate play areas for children between the ages of two and five and another area for children between the ages of 5 to 12.
Children helped design the new playground by filling out an online survey that asked them what type of equipment they would like to see at the new park. From the survey came a large, oval netted swing that allows multiple children to swing together and traditional swings with secure belts that allow children with disabilities to sit safely. The $2 million park finished construction after three years of revitalization.
The playground will incorporate sensory elements such as touching, feeling, and hearing. The sensory elements will be utilized in swings, slides, and climbing equipment. The goal of including these various aspects is to inspire mobility, activity, and imagination in all children.
Each of the two age designated areas will include a two-mast space nest, a bird nest basket swing, and a sensory garden. Children who use a wheelchair and children who have physical, cognitive, vision and hearing disabilities can interact and play with the floating rocks, sound columns, and a stone abacus.