Sweet Shade Park gets new universal playground

The city of Irvine announced its plan to build a universally accessible playground designed to meet the needs of everyone, regardless of their abilities.

The new playground at Sweet Shade Neighborhood Park will feature a swing that accommodates wheelchair users, a sensory garden, interactive equipment and an adjacent restroom and adult changing area.

“The universal playground will be the first of its kind in this city that has differently abled residents at the center of its design,” said Jennifer Kim, chair of the Irvine Residents with Disabilities Advisory Board.

The park is also home to Sweet Shade Ability Center, serving those with sensory, physical or cognitive disabilities, and their family members. Sweet Shade is on Harvard Avenue near Barranca Parkway.

The state will provide the city with $2.8 million for the playground.