The Eli's Park Project has been led by our community throughout our inclusive design process. The conversations, workshops and design exercises you've participated in have been essential to building our understanding. We are committed to listening and centering the voices of those who currently have the least access to accessible, inclusive places in nature. Your voice matters. Please reach out to share your story with us!
Taking my 11-year-old daughter with Autism to the park has always been ‘the best of times and the worst of times’. To have her in the community is so important for me; exercise, fresh air, and being with others feels so vital to her quality of life. As wonderful as Seattle is it has been difficult to sometimes endure the stares and comments. Eli's park means understanding, acceptance, inclusivity, and an opportunity to create a community gathering place where we all feel welcome. My daughter is non-verbal but when you see us at the park...please say "hi" and ask for a high five!
Research demonstrates the physical and mental health benefits of being active and when physical activity takes place in the outdoors there are additional benefits. We need safe, welcoming programs and places so that all children can enjoy the benefits of outdoor physical activity. It’s about creating access and equity.
Pooja Tandon MD, Pediatrician, Seattle Children's Hospital
This is more than a park. It’s a community. I’m personally grateful because this is for all of us—all families, all kinds, all colors, all abilities, all races, all creeds, all faiths, all bodies so everyone can feel safe and know they, and all of us, belong here.”
Aleksa Manila, Trans* Activist and Social Worker
Our family spends a lot of time in parks and playgrounds near our home with our seven-year-old son, Carlos, who is Autistic and loves running and climbing in the outdoors. Eli's Park is important to us, because it is an acknowledgement of the challenges that Carlos faces in his daily life, and a graceful accommodation that makes outdoor activities accessible to us.
Ricardo and Amy
In my 32 years as a project manager at the Department of Neighborhoods, I have never witnessed anything like the community engagement process for the Eli’s Park Project. The number and diversity of people who turn out for events is staggering, and they are diverse in every way; race, class, age, gender and ability.
Allynn Ruth, Project Manager, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
This group of dedicated community volunteers, with their passion and vision, are not only going to bring barrier-free play to an area of Seattle where it's needed most, but their project will affect those who visit and enjoy this space in a way that will truly impact hearts and minds.
Stacy Marshall, Founder, Owen's Playground, Bainbridge Island