Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 45

FOCUS

The playground was one of
the first places in my life that
told me, "you can't come."
JILL MOORE

Personally, it has been a very long time
since someone outright told me I was not
welcome somewhere. The "you can't come"
line sounds like something uninspired out
of a middle school spat. In fact, the most
prolific rejections in my life have not come
from other people; they've come from the
environment around me. Which sounds a bit
extreme, to think that the world around us is
actually telling us if we are welcome or not -
but living with a disability, I have found that
to be quite true.
I was born with a birth defect known as
Spina Bifida. In a nutshell, it is a birth
defect in which my spinal column didn't
close properly. Growing up, this meant
my body was not developing like so many
of my peers. My little legs were forming a
lot slower than the rest of me and I had to
work hard to maintain muscle tone. I had to
use pink crutches or matching pink walker.
Eventually, because it was so challenging to
keep up with my friends, I made the switch
to a wheelchair at the age of seven.
I have led no less than a fulfilled life; in fact,
I really think I got the better end of the deal
than most people. I have participated in
adaptive athletics since I was nine years old.
I was traveling the world by age fourteen
to compete in national and international
events. I was aiding the state of North
Carolina to write legislation allowing
athletes with disabilities to compete on
their high school teams and score points.
I have friends in every corner of the world.
I received a full-ride scholarship to the
University of Illinois where I raced in 12
marathons and competed on two US
national teams. After graduating with a
degree in industrial design, I quickly (and
very fortunately) fell into my first job
and I moved up north to join Landscape
Structures Inc., a Delano, MN-based
commercial playground manufacturer.
1 CLEMENT PARK 2 CLEMENT PARK'S WE-GO-ROUND®
PHOTOS LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES INC.

2

I was given a unique role where I work
closely with the product development
team, providing a voice for persons
with disabilities to all the products LSI
creates, as well as working in marketing
to travel and teach communities what
inclusive play really means through best
practice principles.
I'm sure many people think back on
playgrounds rather fondly, but in the early
days this was probably one of the most
challenging things I had ever really done. As
I dug deeper and deeper into this world of
play, I realized it was one that I really knew
nothing about because the playground was
one of the first places in my life that told me,
"You can't come."
The playgrounds in my tiny world had never
been designed to support someone like
me. My elementary school playground sat
at the bottom of a steep dirt hill. The space
was covered in woodchips or gravel, with
no easy way to push around the play space
to keep up with my friends. Once I got to
the playground - full of climbers and lots
of stairs and challenging ladders - the only
thing designed for me to do was the "meetyour-accessibility-quota" steering wheel

on the pole of a deck. I "drove" so many
playgrounds as a kid, I probably deserved my
license by age 9. My go-to activities were to
wait on the ground for a swing, sit under the
deck and play house, or give up on playing
all together and stay by the school making
houses in planters for the resident bugs.
If I was REALLY having a good day, I'd be
allowed to stay inside to play and not bother
with "lame old recess." At the time, I didn't
realize what those lonely days with my bugs
meant. I didn't realize that all my friends were
on the playground doing exactly what they
were supposed to be doing, on one of the
most fundamental and formative landscapes
of childhood: being kids.
Fortunately, when I rolled into the
playground design scene, I got to join forces
with an industry heavyweight committed
to ensuring everyone is invited to play. Part
of my training with Landscape Structures
was simply going to visit play spaces of all
shapes and sizes for a couple of weeks.
Thinking back on those days, they were
enlightening for a litany of reasons, but
most importantly I got to see how much
the conversation has changed since my
playground days.

SPRING | PRINTEMPS 2020 45



Landscapes - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2020

To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
“Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Sacré Montagne
Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Critique
The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 24
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - “Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 32
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Sacré Montagne
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 46
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 54
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 58
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus 1
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