When most families see a playground or a park they think nothing of it to stop and let their kids play. However, if you have a child with physical delays or needs, you may not be able to play so easily. Throughout the years we have faced a few challenges that make playing at playgrounds hard for my sweet girl. The biggest challenge has always been the type of materials around the playground. Mulch and rocks make access hard for a child who struggles to walk or uses canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Certain types of ladders on equipment mean a child may not be able to climb up to a slide they want to go down. Narrow walkways or spaces make it hard for a parent assisting a child and, more than once, I prayed I did not get stuck.

inclusive playground Nashville ZooThisbe & Noah, a non- profit in Middle Tennessee, is working to improve the lives of children with neuromuscular disease and other needs that block inclusive play for children. They created Thisbe & Noah’s Promise Park, an inclusive playground at the Nashville Zoo, which opened March 2022. The park’s design incorporates pieces of equipment for all types of disabilities and needs, including autism, cochlear implants, leg braces, children in wheelchairs, and sensory disorders.

“All inclusive playgrounds foster empathy, compassion, philanthropy and so much more. We are keeping a diligent eye on all types of disabilities: we will have sensorial spaces for children with autism; slides that are safe for children with cochlear implants; a merry-go-round for children on two legs and children on four wheels alike and so much more.”

This is so exciting for Nashville. To have an inclusive playground that will allow all children to explore and play together will be amazing. It will stop moms’ hearts from breaking when their child says, “Mom, this playground makes me sad” and “I can’t get to the top of the ladder to go down that slide.” No parent wants to see that look of sadness on their child’s face when they are not able to do something they want to. Please join this organization in fundraising to help complete this amazing playground for all children of Nashville and the surrounding areas.

Also, read about Nashville’s other Inclusive Playgrounds all around Middle Tennessee.