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The Mission of Magical Bridge Foundation:
The mission of the Magical Bridge Foundation is to create innovative and truly inclusive playgrounds where all children, families and community members feel welcome to come and play together, regardless of age, size or ability.
MAGICAL BRIDGE PLAYGROUND IS NOT A SPECIAL NEEDS PLAYGROUND. WE’RE SIMPLY A PLAYGROUND FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYBODY:
Is Magical Bridge a “Special Needs” Park?
In a word, no.
What started as a quest to build Palo Alto’s first “ADA-compliant” playground, turned into some soul searching to determine the kind of playground Magical Bridge ultimately would become. When we learned that the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 had not updated it’s playground requirements, we knew the ADA bar was (way) too low. This led us to start marketing Magical Bridge as “beyond ADA” and “accessible,” but weren’t sure these were the right terms either. How could we describe this place we envisioned?
Astounding to think a group of Silicon Valley parents were designing a playground that had no existing category. We knew we were inclusive, accessive and way beyond ADA. We also knew we were designing the coolest park our own kids had ever been to, but our driving passion was to ensure kids and parents of varying cognitive and physical abilities played as equals. In fact, this playground had to reflect the unique needs of everyone in our community. We were never a “special needs” park because, after all, how kind would it be to create this magical space and not invite our “typical” friends in too?
About Magical Bridge Foundation
Magical Bridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advocates for, designs and builds playgrounds and parks for children and adults of all ages, abilities, and sizes. At the core, we create outdoor spaces that welcome everyone, at every stage of life. Redefining inclusive and recreational play opportunities through truly innovative design, Magical Bridge playgrounds and parks far exceed industry standards by removing physical and social barriers still present in most traditional designs. Through our advocacy and programs both on and off the playground, we promote kindness and ignite vital intergenerational connections that build more inclusive communities. Magical Bridge Foundation is currently working on playgrounds, parks, schools, and museum projects throughout the Bay Area and worldwide.
Ongoing Enthusiasm for Magical Bridge:
25% of our population is living with visible and invisible disabilities, and yet playgrounds are still not designed to meet the unique needs of everyone in a community. Since its April 2015 opening in Palo Alto, California, Magical Bridge Playground has received visitors from around the world interested in replicating our groundbreaking playground model in their communities. This ongoing enthusiasm underscores the urgent and global need for play spaces to be intentially designed for everyone.
Magical Bridge Foundation IS focussed ON bringing Magical Bridge PlaygroundS to Bay Area locations and beyond:
Silicon Valley’s Magical Bridge Playground groundbreaking design underscores the real magic that takes place in a community that incorporates the unique play needs of those with all physical and cognitive abilities. It is time to offer truly inclusive playgrounds beyond Palo Alto, and our team has the expertise and passion to take it on.
To learn more about our current projects, kindly visit here.
Magical bridge Playgrounds THAT ARE currently open to the public:
- Mitchell Park, Palo Alto, CA — Opened Summer 2015
- Red Morton Community Park, Redwood City CA — Opened December 2020
- Addison Elementary School, Palo Alto CA — Opened December 2020
Magical bridge Playgrounds and play ParkS currently in development:
- CuriOdyssey Science Museum and Zoo, San Mateo CA — Opening Fall 2021
- Community Park, Morgan Hill CA — Opening Fall 2021
- Fair Oaks Park, Sunnyvale, CA, Fair Oaks Park — Opening February 2022
- Singapore National Museum, Singapore — Opening Late 2022
- Singapore Sun Park Plaza, Singapore — Opening Mid-2022
- Rengstorff Park, Mountain View CA — Opening Early 2023
- Central Park, Santa Clara, CA — Opening Mid-2023
- PAUSD Elementary Schools, Palo Alto CA — Opening 2022-2023
- Cesar Chavez Elementary School, East Palo Alto CA — Opening Late 2023
- Bell Street Park Plaza, East Palo Alto CA — Opening Late 2023
NOTABLE AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
- 2015 – Award of Excellence, California Park and Recreation Society
- 2015 – Frontline Park Award for Design, City Parks Alliance
- 2016 – Jefferson Award for Public Service to Community
- 2016 – CODA Awards for Magical Harp Design
- 2016 – “Best Playground in Bay Area”, San Francisco Magazine
- 2016 – “Best Community Impact”, Silicon Valley Structures Awards
- 2016 – “Nations Favorite Playground”, Play Across America
- 2016 – Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum, Innovative, Inclusive Design
- 2018 – “Outstanding Innovation for Youth”, The Gratitude Network
- 2019 – Murphy Award for Outstanding Community Contribution, City of Sunnyvale
- 2019 – World Economic Forum at Davos, Innovative Social Impact Display
- 2018 – 2021 – Stanford University Neurodiversity Summit Keynote Participant and Speaker
OUR TEDX TALKS
- Executive Director and Co-Founder Jill Asher. The Power of Play at Every Stage of Life
- CEO and Founder, Olenka Villarreal. The Magic of Intentional Design
What makes a Playground Magical?
Magical Bridge is culmination of eleven years of planning, research, design and careful consideration. They say “it’s all in the details” and that could not be more true than at this remarkable playground. Here are some of the finer features that make Magical Bridge so magical.
- Divided into Zones for Predictability
- 24-String Laser Harp
- Fully Accessible Treehouse + Bridge
- Custom 2-Story Playhouse + Stage
- 100% Accessible Slide Mound
- Kindness Corner with Game Tables
- Distinct Zones for Predictable Play
- Disc + Bucket Swings for Everyone
- Original Interactive Artwork
- Play Zone Descriptions featuring Braille
- Smooth, Seamless Paths & Turf
- Patent-Pending Safe Slide Landing
- Tactile Slides + Surfaces
- Retreat Cocoons & Spaces
- Plenty of Shade
- And so much more!
Magical Bridge Foundation
552 Waverley St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Magical Bridge Playground – Palo Alto
3700 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Magical Bridge Playground – Redwood City
Red Morton Park
1120 Roosevelt Ave.
Redwood City, CA 94061