Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. opens NASCAR's first inclusive playground.
A new way to play has been added to the Pocono Raceway. On May 2, a playground for children of all abilities joins the headlining events at the famed facility. The playground allows easy wheelchair access and includes several key inclusive play elements providing a meaningful play experience for people of all abilities. Other features include quiet spaces, sensory rich experiences, and shade structures.
"This project is near and dear to our company's core values of integrity, respect, growth and community," says Pocono Raceway CEO and Mattioli Foundation Director, Nick Igdalsky. "We chose to build and open a playground for kids of all ability levels."
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. The program provides an overview of why inclusion is so important, helpful research to help stakeholders understand diversity, inclusion, and social equity, and tips for designing inclusive play environments that benefit the whole child, whole environment, and whole community®.
To continue to celebrate Pocono Raceway's commitment to advancing play and recreation through best practices, they 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.
This racetrack is found in the "Magic Triangle" encompassing New York, Philadelphia, and Pocono with the highest population density of any other NASCAR/INDYCAR track. Pocono Raceway opens their playground to the whole community on May 2 allowing families and therapeutic service organizations and opportunity to enjoy the new all-inclusive playground.