John Bishop Park, the busiest park in Whitehall, Ohio, according to Whitehall’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Shannon Sorrell, features the first inclusive playground for the community, including elements to promote youth fitness such as swings, rock walls, and slides in the central active sports hub of the community baseball fields and basketball courts. This new space was another step in renovating a playground with equipment over 20 years old into a safe, vibrant park for the community.
“We are really seeing this renaissance in the parks and community,” said Director Shannon Sorrell.
The City of Whitehall has been focused on improving the quality of life in the community through their five parks. The goal for this space is to a provide safe, inclusive place for all visitors, not only for the playground, but for events such as ball tournaments and concerts.
PlayCore recognizes John Bishop Park as a Play On! and 7 Principles InclusionNational Demonstration Site following the research and programming of the Play On! Program, designed by PlayCore and scholar partner, SHAPE America, as it promotes physical activity through the six elements of play to create developmentally appropriate challenges and fun for all. In addition, the playground’s design is focused around the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design®, as outlined in Me2®, a program developed in partnership with PlayCore and Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.
To continue to celebrate John Bishop Park’s commitment to advancing play and recreation through best practices, the park will receive a certificate of recognition, become a part of a network of potential research sites, and will be promoted actively to other communities wishing to create recreation spaces using design and/or programming.