Kingston, N.Y.- Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announces that the County will continue its commitment to making recreation accessible to all by installing ADA-approved playground equipment at the Sojourner Truth/ Ulster Landing Park in the Town of Ulster and the County Pool Complex in New Paltz. The County Executive has allocated approximately $80,000 for the purchase and installation of the IPEMA-Certified equipment. Accessible play areas will include surfacing to accommodate wheelchairs, inclusive Alta Gliders and ramps, spring riders, and wheelchair accessible swings. Both playgrounds are expected to be located near amenities, restrooms and parking areas in order to ensure ease of access to these facilities.
The installation of the new playground equipment builds on County Executive Hein’s previous commitment to accessible recreation, including the addition of pool lifts at the County Pool Complex and the creation of a wheelchair-accessible walkway at the Sojourner Truth Park that leads to views of the Hudson River. In addition, the County Executive’s commitment to making outdoor recreation more accessible to all extends to the design of future rail trails, where trail surfaces, access points and amenities are being designed to accommodate users of all abilities.
Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
“Simply put, all children should have easy access to a playground and I’m focused on making that a reality. Countless studies confirm what we already know as parents that playing outdoors offers many important benefits crucial to healthy childhood development,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “Unfortunately, for children with special challenges using traditional playgrounds can sometimes be all but impossible. As County Executive I am committed to removing barriers and installing inclusive, adaptive playground equipment at the Sojourner Truth Park and at the County Pool in New Paltz. Both playgrounds are expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, and the playground located at the County Pool Complex is scheduled to be opened to the public by June 15th. I know that by working together we can ensure Ulster County remains one of the finest, most inclusive places to live, work and raise a family.”
Marcene Johnson, Director of Educational Services at the Brookside School
“At the Brookside School, we serve students from all over Ulster County and we know that there are children who do not currently have the opportunity to access outdoor play equipment suited for their needs,” said Marcene Johnson, Director of Educational Services. “Over the years, our students have frequently used the County Pool, and we have always been thrilled with the accessibility there. Adding accessible equipment to these parks means that children with all abilities will be able not just to swim, but to play outdoors, too. My heartfelt thanks to County Executive Hein for continuing to make accessibility a priority.”
Nina Dawson, Interim Director of the Ulster County Youth Bureau and Human Rights Commissioner
“Play provides children with more than just recreation. In addition to helping kids stay physically active, it is important to early childhood development, strengthening creativity, dexterity, cognitive and emotional skills," said Nina Dawson, Interim Director of the Ulster County Youth Bureau and Human Rights Commissioner. " By installing ADA-approved equipment, County Executive Hein is helping to extend the benefits of play to children regardless of their level of physical-ability and creating a more inclusive playground experience for our youth.”
Craig Lopez, Ulster County Legislator and Chair of the Public Health Committee
“As chairman of the Public Health Committee and as a person living with a disability I know personally the importance of removing barriers, said Ulster County Legislator Craig Lopez. “Accessibility is key for independence and inclusiveness especially for children facing challenges. I am proud to be part of a county government that makes the special needs of our residents and especially those of our young ones a top priority.”
Kathy Nolan, Ulster County Legislator and Deputy Chair of the Public Health and Social Services Committee
"Providing safe and accessible places for children of all backgrounds and abilities to play together opens up a world of outdoor recreation that is both enjoyable for families and essential for healthy growth and development," said Kathy Nolan, a physician who serves as Deputy Chair of the Public Health and Social Services Committee. "Everyone in Ulster County benefits from these kinds of improvements to our shared community spaces."
James Delaune, Ulster County Legislator
“I am very excited to see these new playground investments at the Ulster County Pool Complex in New Paltz and the Ulster County Sojourner Truth Park in Saugerties to make them more accessible for individuals with disabilities,” said Ulster County Legislator James Delaune. “All of us deserve to have the experience of the outdoors in our parks. I’m so proud that Ulster County has taken the lead in providing accessible equipment to our residents. Our County is ensuring that no one is left on the sidelines. I want to thank the County Executive for his leadership in promoting an enriching play experience for all children and their families at our County parks.
Pictured below: Alta Gliders with ramp; Ladybug Spring Rider