All-Abilities Playground


Next meeting opportunity for public input - City Council Meeting on 9-21-21

What is an All-Abilities Playground?

An all-abilities playground is a universally designed, sensory-rich environment that enables children of all abilities to develop physically, socially, and emotionally. It is an environment that encourages interaction and engagement between children, adults, and play with just the right level of challenge and opportunity to succeed no matter who the person using the playground is. It is a place that goes beyond traditional accessibility to create play experiences that meet a variety of interests and skill levels for children, adults, and seniors alike.

Why does Pleasanton plan to build an All-Abilities Playground?

In late 2017, some Pleasanton residents with special needs family members spoke with the City about the challenges that they faced regarding a place in Pleasanton for their entire family to play together safely in a comfortable environment where they could equally enjoy the play opportunities. A group of residents voiced their support for an All-Abilities playground at the February 2019 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and the Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously recommended the All-Abilities Playground as their number one priority. The Commission agreed with the residents that the community should have a place for the entire family to play regardless of age or ability. Following the Parks and Recreation Commission’s recommendation, in April 2019 the City Council adopted the All-Abilities Playground as a Council Priority and established it as a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project. 

Where is the playground going to be located?

City staff worked with residents, visited other all-abilities playgrounds in the Bay Area, spoke with experts about the benefits of all-abilities playgrounds for children and adults alike, analyzed potential sites within Pleasanton, and presented the research to the Parks and Recreation Commission at their January 9, 2020 meeting. The commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council authorize exploration of an All-Abilities Playground at Ken Mercer Sports Park. At the September 1, 2020 City Council meeting, the City Council voted to begin the design process for an All-Abilities Playground at Ken Mercer Sports Park.

How can I participate in the process or learn more?

The City will be conducting extensive public outreach regarding the All-Abilities Playground over the course of 2021. For more information regarding the project, please sign up for email updates and refer to the Project Documents section below. Or you can contact Michele Crose, Assistant Director, Library and Recreation, who is managing the public outreach for this project,  at the below email or phone number. 

Concept Designs

The two conceptual designs are meant to be interchangeable so that items in option one can be placed in option two and vice versa. 

Concept Design Option 1 - Pleasanton's Rise Playground:

This inspirational playground encourages bravery, confidence, and the joy of lifting up others. Through a variety of play and sensory experiences that encourage inclusion, it inspires all who visit to "rise" up like the birds in the wind, the sun, the moon and the stars. 

Design features could include: 

  • Entry area with Pleasanton Arch replica 
  • Large main play area that could include a bird, nest or other large soaring feature that could be interacted with in a variety of ways, i.e.: climbing, swinging, ziplining, and/or sliding
  • Quiet areas 
  • Additional picnic areas
  • Music area 

Concept Design Option 2 - Pride of Pleasanton Playground: 

This playground concept celebrates the park's green lush setting, and undulations. It encourages users to discover nature through organic shapes, natural materials and textures, and a variety of adventures and challenges along the way. This concept will also include interpretive play features that highlight the unique character of Pleasanton. 

Design features could include: 

  • Entry area with Pleasanton Arch replica
  • Large main play area that could include replica Kottinger Barn, or other key historic building in Pleasanton that could be interacted with in a variety of ways i.e.: climbing, swinging, ziplining, and/or sliding 
  • Fitness area
  • Nature themed play areas that could include mounds, sand, and sensory play 
  • Additional picnic areas with shelter 
  • Challenge course for older youth 
  • Quiet areas 
  • Artistic shade structures 
  • Music area 

 All Abilities Image Boards


Project Documents:

Youth Commission Staff Report - September 8, 2021

Human Services Commission Report - September 1, 2021

Parks and Recreation Staff Report - August 12, 2021

City Council Staff Report - February 2, 2021 

Parks and Recreation Staff Report - January 9, 2020

Parks and Recreation Commission PowerPoint

Community Outreach Zoom Meeting 

Sign Up for Email Updates

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If you have questions or feedback regarding the All-Abilities Playground please contact Michele Crose, Assistant Director, Library and Recreation at 925-931-5347 or at