PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland’s newest playground opened Saturday for all kids to enjoy, no matter their physical limitations.
Portland Parks and Recreation celebrated the grand opening of Harper’s Playground in North Portland’s Arbor Lodge Park.
The playground is universally-accessible and has equipment that is both wheelchair and walker-friendly.
The vision for a more accessible playground started with Harper Goldberg, whose family lives near Arbor Lodge Park. Harper has a developmental disability called Emanuel Syndrome and uses a walker.
Harper’s parents noticed that their daughter had a hard time using the play structure at the park. They started raising money through community events to build a new structure so kids like Harper could play along with everyone else.
“Just three years ago, dedicated parents Cody and April Goldberg envisioned a playground where their child, Harper, could play alongside other neighborhood kids,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “They’ve shared their compelling vision, generated incredible community support, and have allowed for an innovative playground that will serve as a model for park improvements across the country.”
Many partners, including the Portland Timbers, joined the fundraising effort. They raised nearly $500,000 over three years.
8-year-old Archie Keppy, who cut the ribbon at the park Saturday, donated his entire savings of $62 to help his family buy a stone for the park.
“We are honored to have received so much love and support throughout these past three years,” said Cody Goldberg, Harper’s father.