The City of Santa Clara and the Magical Bridge Foundation broke ground at Santa Clara’s Central Park on May 19 to mark the official start of construction on the City’s newest all-inclusive play space.
The playground is a project years in the making for Santa Clara. The City announced plans for the project in early 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later and funding for nonprofits dried up. The Magical Bridge Foundation spent the next few years desperately trying to find donors to help fully fund all aspects of the playground. When it looked like all hope was lost, a surprise infusion of cash from the state helped ensure that the playground would move forward as planned.
Working with landscape architect, Groundswell Landscape Design, and builder Robert A. Bothman Construction, Magical Bridge Playground will provide a safe and inclusive space for all ages and abilities. Nestled among the redwoods and sycamores in Central Park, the playground will be purpose-built to serve the entire community, including those living with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, visual and hearing impairments, as well as Santa Clara’s aging population.
The Santa Clara City Council is committed to enhancing community sports, recreation, and art assets. To achieve this goal, the City of Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Department has developed playground design standards to promote and support community health and wellness, child development, the natural environment and inclusion for all ages and abilities. Working together with inclusion experts, the Magical Bridge Playground will surpass minimum ADA requirements and benefit everyone in the community, regardless of ability.
“We have a legacy of providing wonderful parks and recreational assets where families, friends, and neighbors, young and old, play together, enjoy the outdoors together and make memories together,” said Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor. “We are excited to add Magical Bridge Playground to our list of amazing playground facilities – ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or ability, is able to enjoy everything our parks have to offer.”
The playground will include a child zone for ages 2-5, spin zone, swing zone, slide mound, imagination zone (two-story playhouse), improvements to the existing amphitheater terrace seating, a donor entry plaza, improved picnic area, and rehabilitation of the adjacent Arbor Center restroom.
The Magical Bridge Playground was made possible thanks to funding from generous community donors, the City of Santa Clara, the County of Santa Clara, the State of California and the Magical Bridge Foundation. The project is expected to be completed in fall of 2024. You can visit the Magical Bridge’s Santa Clara website for more details.