Join in creating our region’s first universally accessible playground, right here in Burlington, Vermont.

Our Story

Oakledge for All is a volunteer-led community effort to raise interest, awareness, and funding for a universally accessible playground in Burlington. As a graduate student, special educator Julia Wayne discovered Vermont children with disabilities and their families had no access to a playground in all of Vermont, or surrounding regions.

So, she set out to do something about it.

Over the last eight years, with Julia’s leadership, Oakledge for All has evolved to include educators, parents and caregivers, special needs service providers, community members, and staff from the Burlington Recreation, Parks, & Waterfront (BRPW). Please check out our growing list of supporters.

 

Our Partnership with Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront

In 2012, Oakledge for All (formerly called Play and Engage in Accessible Spaces for Everyone, or PEASE) brought a proposal for a universally accessible playground to the Burlington Parks, Recreation, & Waterfront (BPRW). BPRW stepped in as a key partner and conducted a citywide evaluation to better understand community need for a universally accessible playground, followed by a site analysis to assess the city’s existing parks and playgrounds. Oakledge Park was selected as the ideal home for the future playground, offering a gorgeous natural setting with existing recreational resources, connection to the Bike Path, toilet facilities, and a broad user base, including visitors from all over the region. It is also park in need of repairs, making the accessible renovation timely and efficient.

 
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Designed by the community

In 2016 after selecting Oakledge as the site, BPRW embarked on design phase including public engagement to solicit feedback, ideas, and promote awareness about the project. We reached a collective vision to create a playground that:

  • Provides play opportunities for everyone

  • Supports social, physical, and cultural diversity

  • Strengthens our community

  • Provides access to Lake Champlain and the Burlington Bike Path

  • Offers a unique range of recreational play features, rehabilitation equipment, and nature-based experiences for children and adults

  • Exceeds ADA standards and achieves universally accessible (UA) principles

 
 
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The term universally accessible refers refers to a playground or play space that offers people full use of all areas, regardless of ability.  Each area of the playground will offer a range of play features, accessible equipment, and nature-based experiences for both children and adults. Elements planned for Oakledge for All include:

  • Equipment/areas to support different types of play (music, dramatic play, puzzles, games)
  • Sand play at various levels
  • Connection to water
  • Large-scale slide to accommodate multiple participants
  • Transfer stations and areas to rest throughout playground
  • Early childhood area
  • Swings accessible to varying abilities and ages
  • Accessible pathways between all play components, parking, and amenities
  • Spinner that is accessible to wheelchairs
  • In-ground trampoline
  • Color contrast and difference in surface textures
  • Accessible bathrooms and amenities
  • Natural, open-ended play areas with quiet green spaces
 
 
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I’ve been inspired by the freedom and joy that a truly inclusive playground can offer, where every element is barrier-free, regardless of age or ability. I can’t wait for the day that my students and friends with differing abilities can easily access a public playground in Vermont alongside peers. Please join us to create this welcoming and much-needed opportunity for play!
— Julia Wayne, Founder of Oakledge for All
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