Reese’s Retreat is Pasadena’s first universally accessible playground–designed with special equipment to delight kids of all ages and abilities. The pirate ship and surround comes complete with ramps, a cannonball climber, an eight-bay swing set and sensory play structures that invite children to play with water and sand. The vast blue “ocean” provides a soft floor and easy access for children in wheelchairs and those with impaired mobility.
The fanciful spot is named for Reese Elliott, the late son of Marchelle Sellers and James Elliott. Born with special needs, Reese played pirates and superheroes with other children, inspiring his mother to become a vocal supporter of inclusive playgrounds. Like Reese, about 2,600 kids in Pasadena have disabilities.
Visitors are charmed and filled with praise:
… is legitimately the best playground in Southern California.
… I absolutely LOVE this park. Means the world to me and my family!
… GREAT for kids. Clean and awesome!
The boundless play area was designed in partnership with the Pasadena Public Works Department, Accessibility and Disability Commission, Recreation and Parks Commission, Shane’s Inspiration, Interplay Design, Recreation West Outdoor Products, and David Evans and Associates. The $1.2 million cost was covered by a $1 million state grant, a $25,000 award from the National Organization on Disability, Brookside Golf Course greens fees and residential impact fees.
Reese’s Retreat is at the southeast corner of Brookside Park, just east of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center at 360 N.Arroyo Blvd. and is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Free event parking is available at the southern end of Lot I. For more information call (626) 744-4321.
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