Speaking at an event in Burlington County this afternoon, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced that his agency will be upgrading the equipment at 24 State Park playgrounds, including at Allaire State Park in Howell Township.
“Residents in every community deserve safe and quality opportunities to enjoy healthy and restorative outdoor recreational activities,” LaTourette explained.
“These important upgrades, which are part of the DEP’s Enhanced Playground Initiative, exemplify the Murphy Administration’s commitment to making this goal a reality. Children of all abilities will soon be able to enjoy the outdoors while using state-of-the-art playgrounds across New Jersey.”
Adding inclusive playgrounds in each region of the state park system is part of a DEP effort known as the Enhanced Playground Initiative that will also completely replace outdated playground equipment at select state parks across New Jersey.
To date, the State Park Service has upgraded nine existing playgrounds in the southern region of the state with new and updated structures to enhance inclusivity.
Ground-level activities that are part of the play structure include musical instruments to further auditory and cognitive stimulation and hand cyclers to promote upper body development. Each of the three inclusive playgrounds also will have adaptive swings for those unable to use a belt swing and slide transfer decks for a more comfortable transfer from a mobility device onto a slide.
The parks are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.