BRENTWOOD -- George Migay wanted a special needs swing installed at a Brentwood park so that his granddaughter, who uses a wheelchair, could enjoy that simple delight of childhood in her own community.
A few years later, there are special needs swings installed at two Brentwood parks and a Universal Abilities Playground in the works at Veterans Park due to his persistence and the support of the local special needs community. When the construction is complete, his granddaughter, Malia, and her special needs friends will be able to climb, access ramps and manipulate sounds in the future playground that will have a pirate ship theme.
"They are modifying all of these parks in Brentwood and I just wanted a swing," Migay said. "The idea caught on."
The special needs community of parents and children in far East County was actively involved in the planning of this playground through the Special Kids Foundation. Special Kids board member CiCi Migay, who is George Migay's daughter-in-law, said that the planning meetings allowed parents to request important elements of the playground like double-wide ramps and a thoroughfare for wheelchairs that run all the way through the planned pirate ship structure.
"Parents with strollers will even benefit," she said. "It benefits everybody."
At a groundbreaking ceremony for the playground Tuesday afternoon, Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor said that it was designed to accommodate children with a wide
"This park is absolutely beautiful and it will be enhanced with this all-abilities playground," said Special Kids board member Vickey Rinehart.
The entire playground will be fenced, which appeals to many parents and grandparents of special needs children, Rinehart noted. The playground will be accessible on each end of the structure and it has elements for special needs children without limited mobility such as a space in the ship's hull for those who may need a quiet spot.
Oakley opened East County's first all-abilities playground, the World of Discovery, earlier this year at Crockett Park. Discovery Bay mom Joline Weeks said that she is excited to bring her kids to the new Brentwood playground because it is in a great location near restrooms and shade at the park on Balfour Road.
"I can't wait," she said. "We like this park, but we will come out here a lot more often now."
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174.