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All Abilities Playground

May 01, 2016 12:48PM ● By Loella Haskew

Loella Haskew, Mayor of Walnut Creek

All Abilities Playground

Having fun in Walnut Creek owes a lot to the three Ps: parks, playing, and partnerships. Let’s start with the first P - parks. We have sixteen parks throughout Walnut Creek, with amenities ranging from playfields to pickleball. Most offer playgrounds and picnic tables, although a few are without facilities. All offer a chance to relax and enjoy the respite of nature. The largest of our parks, Heather Farm, is home to our amazing All Abilities Playground. And that’s where the second P – partnerships – comes in.

When the city first started planning the All Abilities Playground, there was just enough money from regional park bonds to cover the basics of getting the site prepared and adding one play structure. Then, Contra Costa County offered to contribute park fees paid by developers who had built in unincorporated Walnut Creek. Still, it was not enough to pay for all the components needed, such as sunshades and benches. That’s when the Civic Pride Foundation got involved. The 501(c)3 raised more than $350,000, nearly a third of the final project cost. The All Abilities Playground opened in October 2014, and it’s been packed with laughter ever since. That could not have happened without the power of partnership.

Partnerships also play a role in the rebuilding of Larkey Swim Center, taking place right now. When complete, in fall of 2017, the pool will have an area of “deeper water,” where the world-renowned Aquanauts Synchronized Swimming Club can practice. There will also be a splash playground, where children of all abilities can enjoy the fun of water play. The Aquanauts and Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation are raising funds to help make the deeper water and splash playground possible. Again, the power of partnerships.

Information about all of our parks is available on our website, Just click on the Parks & Recreation button on the homepage, and find the park that has the amenities you’re looking for. There are dog parks, skate parks, disc golf and more! It’s time for that third P -- get out there and play!

Safety Tip: Bicyclists, please wear a helmet when you ride. This is the most effective way to protect your head in a mishap. 




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