Brainstorming ideas for Bennett's Village

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A public meeting was held on Tuesday at the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation office to talk about how to make Bennett's Village accessible to all.

Bennett's Village is a playground being built at Pen Park with those who have disabilities in mind.

The park is named after Bennett McClurken, who passed away in 2018 due to spinal muscular atrophy.

His parents, who are leading the project, took down notes on ideas shared by everyone at the meeting.

Kara McClurken said there is a lot that needs to be considered to make the park fun for everyone.

"I don't think that most playgrounds think about things like surfaces and how that affects mobility challenges,” she said. “I don't think they necessarily think of low vision or no vision issues. There's a lot of things that everybody needs if we just think a little bit more inclusively."

One goal of the playground is to also make it “multi-generational,” so that everyone from an infant to the elderly can enjoy it, and parents and grandparents can enjoy playing with their children.

Beginning this fall, McClurken said they will be looking for firms for design planning, meeting with stakeholders, and consulting experts such as doctors and special-ed teachers.

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