Mayor Kenney Signs ‘Inclusive Parks & Playgrounds’ Bill at Germantown Recreation Center
Philadelphia – Mayor Jim Kenney was joined by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) and City of Philadelphia Managing Director Michael BiDerardinis at Wister Playground in the Germantown section as he signed a the ‘Inclusive Parks and Playgrounds’ bill into law. Created by Councilwoman Bass, the legislation ensures all parks or playgrounds managed by the City, especially those that will be re-designed or renovated in the future, are inclusive, inter-generational and family-friendly.
“This bill could not have come at a better time,” said Mayor Kenney. “Very soon, we’ll be investing $300 million in parks and recreation centers across the City, thanks to Rebuild and the sweetened beverage tax. This bill will help to ensure that investment creates parks and recreation facilities that are accessible for all.”
The Inclusive Parks and Playgrounds law requires that any park undergoing renovations must include play areas for children with special needs. This includes children with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or blind or have low hearing or vision, and children in wheelchairs.
“Nothing is more rewarding than ensuring our parks and recreation centers are accessible to all Philadelphians,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. “Wister is a great example of how every park in the City should be. Every neighborhood and every person deserves a fun and safe place to engage in physical and social opportunities.”
In addition to accommodating children with special needs, the bill also requires that new and refurbished parks have fitness equipment for adults of varying fitness levels, including adults with various disabilities.
“I am very excited about this bill,” said Councilwoman Bass. “I believe that this effort will make Philadelphia a leader among American cities in making playgrounds inter-generational, family-friendly and a welcoming space for everyone regardless of age and/or special needs of any kind.”