There's a new playground in Portland, and it's our new favorite destination. Harper's Playground opened about a month ago, after years of planning and hard work by an army of dedicated volunteers. The idea for the playground came from a parent who envisioned a playground that was accessible for her daughter.
As their vision statement explains: "In the beginning, this project was about making one playground more accessible for one girl. We now see it as much more than that. We hope that our vision and efforts will lead to a more inclusive world. We believe that children who grow up playing together at Harper’s Playground will have a better chance of knowing and caring about their friends with all different abilities. We believe this will lead to these children growing into adults who will be more likely to care for one another later in life."
You really have to go there to experience how different it is. It feels like a utopian village from a 1970's science fiction movie, without the dark undercurrent.
The slides are wide and open at the top so grownups can help a little one down. There are two fun climbing walls, but no steps to climb to reach the slide. There's a sandbox that's always stocked with dump trucks and shovels for anyone to play with. There are big kid swings with extra support so everyone can enjoy them. A merry-go-round and swing with room for everyone.
It's the only playground we've been to where we feel completely relaxed.
See you there!
2525 North Dekum, inside Arbor Lodge Park.