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Designing for Inclusive Play at Robbins Farm Park Playground

Last week, the Agency team held a virtual public meeting to reveal the design vision for the Robbins Farm Park Playground in Arlington, MA. This third and final public session built upon months of close collaboration with community members, park stakeholder groups, and the Town of Arlington to deliver a play space designed with universally inclusive principles.

Robbins Farm Park is a beloved neighborhood amenity known for its spectacular views towards Boston. Its existing playground features an iconic 16-foot embankment slide that strikes awe, excitement, and a healthy amount of fear to all who dare slide down. With the goal of creating an inclusive and imaginative adventure playscape nestled into the hillside of this cherished community park, the design vision draws inspiration from the unique character and history of Robbins Farm and capitalizes on the potentials of climbing, jumping, and exploring on a hill.

The design of Robbins Farm Park Playground goes beyond ADA-accessible standards and draws from universal design principles to imagine a safe and welcoming place for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to play together. To get to the top of the hill, one can take an accessible route along the hillside that is punctuated by nature-based climbing elements, sensory nodes featuring visual and musical equipment, and seating elements. Adjacent to the large slide sits a pair of climbing structures, dubbed the “Adventure Sheds,” which draw from local vernacular farm architecture. The sheds are fully accessible from multiple points of entry, inviting kids and caretakers of all abilities to join one another in play.

Follow our progress at Robbins by checking out our site here.