Basin Recreation to install all-abilities playground at Willow Creek Park

July 17, 2023
basin recreation to install all-abilities playground at willow creek park

Construction starts later this month on a new playground at Willow Creek Park. The idea is to make it more accessible to kids of all abilities.

Basin Recreation District Director Dana Jones says the new playground will capitalize on recent innovations in playground design.

“This is not something that you’re going to find anywhere else, this is going to be, this is going to be built for the public here and for everybody to come and play on,” she said.

Making the playground accessible to everyone is key. The current playground was built in 2005, and Jones says a lot has happened since then.

“The idea is that there’s going to be kids of all abilities—no matter whether they have sensory issues or mobility issues—they can all play together and play side-by-side,” she said.

To encourage side-by-side play, the new playground is designed with more than one sensory experience in mind, with special attention to sight and sound as well as touch.

Visually, the playground incorporates different elements of nature for the kids to interact with. There are fish, animals, trees, a boat and a blue stripe running through the playground like a river.

Many parts of it will also be wheelchair accessible.

Basin Recreation said it hasn’t received complaints about the current playground, but Jones said she believes people will be excited about the new design.

“We are anticipating that probably a lot of people don’t even know that these kinds of innovations are out there,” Jones said. “And we are really excited to be able to bring them to this area.”

The National Ability Center already has an all-abilities playground, but Basin Rec’s would be the first in the Wasatch Back open to the public.

The playground will cost $1.8 million, mostly covered by a $1.35 million grant from the Summit County Recreation, Arts and Parks tax. Jones said Basin Rec itself will cover the other costs, including site preparation, which will be an additional $250,000.

Demolition begins later in July. The playground parts were ordered last September, and Jones said she hopes they will arrive as demolition wraps up.

If all goes according to schedule, construction will last three months, and the playground will reopen this fall.