Dad Makes a Modern Playground for Daughter & Cities Adopt His Design

All this devoted dad from Portland, Oregon wanted was to create a disability-friendly playground on which his daughter, Harper, who has been in a wheelchair her entire life, can play. Little did he know that his design would be widely accepted and replicated by a number of cities for years to come. Thanks to his efforts and those who gave his ideas recognition, countless children with disabilities can now enjoy playgrounds more suited to their needs!

G Cody QJ Goldberg, the founder of the innovative playground design
How the Idea Was Formed

G Cody QJ Goldberg took his daughter, Harper, to a local playground back in 2009. He was devastated and frustrated by the fact that every play area was surrounded by wood chips that made the equipment inaccessible to his 4-year-old daughter in a wheelchair. As he spoke to the parks and recreation center about it, he was told that there wasn’t sufficient funding for them to start up any new projects, but that they would support a privately-funded reconstruction. That’s when the Goldbergs started a non-profit organization called Harper’s Playground, and after three years, the fundraising efforts allowed them to open their first park to the public!

The modern playground that Goldberg designed
A Disability-Friendly Playground

The park was designed in such a way that all areas are easily accessible to all children, fully including those with any type of disability. Goldberg explains that the key thought behind the design were three levels of enrichment. The first level ensures that the park is physically inviting and that any area can be reached with the use of wheels. The second level makes the park socially inviting with a circular arrangement of benches and beautiful gathering areas surrounded by nature. Lastly, the park must be emotionally inviting, which is achieved with the use of music, art, and excellent design lines. The new park was such a success that it inspired many other cities to adopt and adapt the design and create more of these modern playgrounds.