The PlayGarden was founded in 2002 on the core principles of Adventure Play, Garden to Table and Full Inclusion the PlayGarden was designed to be a safe, supportive, accessible and innovative place for children of all abilities to play.
“My 3-year old son, Langston has been enrolled in preschool at the PlayGarden since September. Langston is kind, funny, smart and has the greatest smile you’ve ever seen. He also happens to be autistic. Langston’s autism makes verbal communication difficult for him. It also cause significant sensory integration challenges that make a traditional learning environment incredibly difficult for him. PlayGarden has been an absolute blessing for us. Being in an outdoor environment makes it much easier for him to focus. He is able to move his body as much as he needs to help regulate his sensory input.” –PlayGarden Parent
The PlayGarden Story
A grand idea took root in fertile soil in late 2002. Inspired by the Rusk Children’s PlayGarden in New York City, Liz Bullard gathered support for a PlayGarden in Seattle. With backing from the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation, families of children with disabilities, and the horticultural and medical communities, the PlayGarden was born.
The summer of 2006 found the first PlayGarden campers filling the south end of Colman Playfield with the sounds of raucous joy. But there was still a lot of work to be done transforming the long neglected park into the glorious urban oasis of gardens it is today. With design and construction complete, the summer of 2010 began our first complete year of programs.
A lot of talents went into designing and building of the PlayGarden! Learn more about our designers.
Gay Naganuma Burton
Robin Warmby Laskowski
“One of the biggest reasons we love the PlayGarden is because when we walk through the gate, any limitations Gabriel has at other playgrounds vanish. I love the PlayGarden because it provides my son a safe, supportive place to create, to play, to make new friends and see old friends. Gabriel loves the PlayGarden because it’s a place where he belongs – it’s his turf!"
-- Susan Lakey
"The PlayGarden is an amazing place for children of all ages and especially for those with disabilities. "We are truly honored to have been able to contribute to the development of the PlayGarden. It is easily accessible even for children in wheelchairs and provides surrounding neighborhoods with a beautiful amenity."-
former Seattle Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent.