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One Heart Playground in North Little Rock, Arkansas Designated as a National Demonstration Site

PlayCore, the leading company in play and recreation research, programming, and products is proud to announce a recent Inclusion National Demonstration Site designation for One Heart Playground in North Little Rock, AR. Located at Burns Park on Funland Drive, North Little Rock, AR, the new site demonstrates the community’s commitment to creating equitable play opportunities for all individuals.

One Heart Playground is inspired by Emma Wasson, who was born with a congenital heart defect and Turner Syndrome in 2012. Since her birth, her parents have made it their passion to advocate and education the community.

Continuing their passion to inspire others, they decided to take on a larger project with North Little Rock Park and Recreation to build the community’s first ever inclusive playground.

To achieve this dream, Emma’s parents and the North Little Rock Park and Recreation Department worked together to reach a funding goal of $250,000 for phase one of the project. They received overwhelming support through a variety of fundraising events from a family-friendly concert at Burns Park to a weekly sport-themed speaking event called Downtown Tip Off.

“One Heart Playground is going to be where memorable moments happen for children of all ages and abilities”, said Jeff Caplinger, Special Project Coordinator for North Little Rock Park and Recreation.

In addition to fundraising efforts, the community partnered with a GameTime playgrounds agency, Cunningham Recreation to design a space that would reflect a truly inclusive play environment which exceeds minimum accessibility requirements.

To achieve this design, the playground equipment and configuration was focused around the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design®, as outlined in Me2®, a program developed in partnership with PlayCore and Utah State University.

As Mentioned in Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design®, “Although children are the primary user group of playgrounds, truly inclusive environments are designed with a broader multigenerational approach in mind. Inclusive play environments are for everyone, providing all people a place to play and recreate with friends and family.”

Recognized as a National Demonstration Site for Inclusive Play, the community will be acknowledged for their leadership in making this universally-designed play destination a reality. One Heart Playground will receive a certificate of recognition, placed on a national registry located at www.pointsmap.com/playcore, and actively promoted to other communities interested in creating play environments for all abilities.

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