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New adaptive playground at Jewish Community Center opens on Hanukkah as a gift to every San Diegan

Playground is first fully accessible, adaptive play space in San Diego
JCC Playground.jpg
Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-08 14:39:15-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new playground at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla will become San Diego's first fully adaptive accessible playground.

"We've been really, really excited watching this slowly come together," says Diana Stern, the JCC Assistant Director of Philanthropy. "Seeing it in its final stages, the anticipation has finally grown."

The playground was built to let kids and adults of all abilities take part. Among its many accessible features are wheelchair ramps to the main play structure, swing sets that can handle people with disabilities, a sensory wall and "cozy dome" for people with cognitive issues, and a harmony garden.

"The idea of inclusion has been deeply embedded in the JCC for more than 30 years," says Stern. "This is our Hanukkah gift to the community."

And it's not just for kids.

"Any parents who are disabled, who weren't able to climb onto a play structure with their kids can now do it," Stern says. "They can swing with their kids, they can fully experience the joy of the playground with their kids."

It's also meant for adults with developmental disabilities who want to play.

The JCC will cut the ribbon on the new playground Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. That coincides with the 3rd day of Hanukkah, a holiday built on the idea of re-dedication.

They've been working on plans for this since 2018. The playground is now part of the Mandell Weiss Eastgate Community Park in La Jolla, and is open to the public.