HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Cove Universal Playground was the first of its kind in Madison County when the City’s Mark Russell Recreation Center opened in December 2020.
"The idea behind the playground is that children of any ability can come and be with their peers and engage in a safe space," said Jessica Berkholtz with Cove Universal Playground.
Since opening in 2020, this playground has become a favorite place to play with equipment that is inclusive and entertaining to those with and without special needs.
"So, you can have a child that is crawling on the special playground surfacing, and they're perfectly safe. It's fully fenced, so if you had a child with maybe sensory issues that's a runner, they're perfectly safe. I personally have two children with physical disabilities and they're able to access pretty much every piece of equipment here," said Berkholtz. "We also have communication boards. So if a kid is nonverbal or a parent is nonverbal, they can point and tell their caregiver and what they need."
Cove Universal Playground continues to grow; with these new additions, come new ways for children of all ages and abilities to play together!
"We've been working for the past year to bring an inclusive zipline and a spinning rope climber to the playground!" said Berkholtz.
The zipline and rope climber are enhancements to the original design. This new design includes ramps, sensory items, wheelchair-accessible surfaces and even a quiet nook.
"Our volunteer committee has been working on this since the end of 2018. So this is a huge accomplishment for us. We are a group of working parents and we really come together to make this happen. We've held our own fundraisers, and we've done a lot of legwork on the ground, and we're just really excited that it's here," said Berkholtz.