At a special groundbreaking ceremony today The Henry Ford announced plans for a new playscape located inside Greenfield Village.
Made possible through donations from Don and Mary Kosch, the historically themed playground will allow children of varying physical, developmental and sensory abilities the chance to play and learn together within other kids.
The playscape will be approximately 25,000 square feet in size and will be built next to the carousel, near restrooms and food facilities making it convenient for families.
Designed to resemble a 1920s construction site, at the center of the playscape will be an interactive steam shovel where children can play with the levers inside or dig in the sand.
The fenced-in site will also include a rock climbing wall, a water tower, swings, an interactive boiler feature, a cement mixer and two actual artifacts – a 1931 Ford Model AA truck and a 20-foot-long boiler tunnel that originally sat near the Armington and Sims Machine Shop inside Greenfield Village.
"We at The Henry Ford are excited to announce the plans for the new playscape during the same year we are celebrating the 150th birthday of our founder, Henry Ford," said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. "It was always very important to Henry to create a place where children could come and be inspired by their surroundings, something that is still very important to us to this day. We hope that this playscape can serve as a model for others to become more aware and more willing to adopt design principles that address the interest and needs of people, especially children, of all abilities.
With the support of a planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Henry Ford say they ensured that the design will met or exceeded all accepted accessibility standards.
The site will include multi-level topography with ramp accessibility, bonded and concrete rubber surfaces that are ADA accessible and elements constructed out of natural or authentic materials keeping with the overall aesthetic of Greenfield Village.
The playground will undergo construction throughout the year with the goal of opening for guests’ enjoyment during the fall of 2013.