“Who is being Excluded? This is the question to consider when creating inclusive outdoor recreation experiences for everyone to participate and enjoy. The process must start early in the planning, designing, and programming of these unique spaces. Choose inclusion over exclusion!" - Bill Botten, Accessibility Specialist, Retired U.S. Access Board
Addressing diversity in outdoor play and recreation environments demonstrates how a community respects and values all forms of inherent differences we possess as individuals. These differences might be obvious or invisible, slight or profound, and include age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, or ability.
Ultimately, the whole environment should celebrate the diversity of the community. Well-designed inclusive parks are a primary attraction for all community members which contribute to greater appreciation for diversity, increased healthy behavior, and sustained repeated social interactions that provide a catalyst for increasing civic engagement and cooperation between individuals, growing the social capital of a community. Programs, special events, and marketing efforts that promote acceptance and understanding can create a deeper sense of belonging and a healthier place to live, work, and play. We must work together to promote an understanding that all children and families need and deserve access to quality inclusive play and recreation environments and programs.
Request the guide to learn more about:
- Understanding Diversity, Inclusion & Social Equity in Outdoor Play and Recreation Environments
- Language Matters! Disability Language Tips & Examples
- Inclusive Features to Positively Enhance Park Experiences for All Visitors