WOODBINE — The borough has applied to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Small Cities Public Facilities program for a grant in the amount of $400,000 to develop all-inclusive, ADA-compliant playground facilities at the Woodbine Eco-Park, Mayor William Pikolycky said.
“Five years ago, the borough successfully applied to the county Open Space Program for funding to begin the development of the Woodbine Eco-Park adjacent to the Woodbine Community School,” Pikolycky said. “Notably, the original Eco-Park concept included the installation of generic playground facilities, but with a recent change in state law, it made sense to re-examine the playground element and do something more inclusive.”
The change referred to by Pikolycky is “Jake’s Law,” legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy that provides incentives to units of government to create inclusive playgrounds for disabled individuals of all ages.
"'Jake’s Law' takes ADA design to the next level,” Pikolycky said. “It encourages the development of playgrounds that can be utilized by those with virtually any manner of disability: physical, vision, hearing, sensory, cognitive and ambulatory.”
The mayor said the borough has been working closely with the Cape May County Open Space Board to develop a concept and style for the proposed playground that complements the natural setting and amenities of the Eco-Park.
“The Eco-Park is the ideal location for the development of the kind of playground envisioned by ‘Jake’s Law,’” Pikolycky said. “It will be an enhancement to the plans to maintain the unique natural setting of the Eco-Park while ensuring the facility is accessible to all visitors.
“By adding this all-inclusive playground to the overall concept of the Eco-Park, the borough will be able to bring it to a higher level, creating an attraction that encompasses recreational, educational, and environmental components for both residents of and visitors to our community,” he said.