January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Developing Inclusive, Equitable and Universally
Designed Public Recreation Spaces
By Devon Boes, OTD, OTR/L
M
ore than 15 percent of the world's population lives with
some form of disability. Disability of any kind requires constant
learning, adaptation and patience to overcome barriers
to daily roles and routines. Barriers often take the form
of social and environmental limitations, such as physical structures and social
attitudes that are not welcoming of disability, especially in communitybased
outdoor spaces.
In central Iowa, Polk County
Conservation and other community
partners had a vision to
eliminate such barriers, inspiring
the implementation of a universally
designed outdoor space, the
Athene North Shore Recreation
Area at Easter Lake Park, where
accessibility and inclusivity are the
primary focus.
To center accessibility, the staff and
design team integrated the eight goals
of universal design - along with
principles of codesign, sustainable
design and systematic design - into
the building and program creation
processes. They created focus
groups comprised of individuals
who identify as disabled, caregivers
of individuals with physical and/
or cognitive disabilities, and ablebodied
individuals to help finalize
park
amenities.
The
team
used
their feedback to create an initial
list of essential and desired park
components to meet the needs of
all users in relation to entry access
and activities, architectural features,
awareness, and staffing. This
qualitative data then was combined
with data collected through a multidisciplinary
literature review and
benchmarking
efforts
to
further
identify community demographics
and park-user needs. Currently,
construction is underway and will
incorporate the following physical
elements and user experiences.
Park Components
and Site Amenities
The Athene North Shore Recreation
Area will offer both land- and waterbased
amenities. Park users will have
access to an enlarged beach area
equipped with beach access mats
and a zero-entry ramp, enabling individuals
with limited mobility to
enjoy beach amenities and an accessible
route to a designated swimming
area. Further water-based exploration
will be available by way of an
accessible kayak launch,
adaptive
boat and fishing dock, and rowing
facility with an accessible dock and
boat launch access. On land, an
adaptive playscape, outfitted with
a splash-pad feature, will foster an
inclusive play environment offering
graded levels of physical challenge
and sensory exploration for children
of all abilities.
Community
engagement
and
programming will take place within
a large event green space, covered
picnic shelters, an event and education
building, and an equipment
rental building. These indoor spaces
will offer two height-adjustable
adult changing stations to accommodate
a diverse range of toileting
needs as well as private, single-user
restroom facilities. An indoor designated
area of respite also will be
located onsite for nursing mothers
Accessibility and inclusivity are the primary
focus of the Athene North Shore
Recreation Area at Easter Lake Park in
Polk County, Iowa.
16 Parks & Recreation |
J ANUAR Y 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
IMAGE COURTESY OF SHIVE-HATTERY ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 41
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 42
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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