Re: “Protect the legacy of our urban parks, a classic public good” [July 23, Opinion]:
Lee Springgate is precisely right that parks offer “beauty, tranquillity, informality and opportunities to reflect and recharge” and are “the great democratic equalizer, accessible to all ages, genders, races, incomes and religions.”
However, parks must also be fully accessible and truly inclusive to those with disabilities, the nation’s largest minority group. My special-needs grandson cannot use many park playgrounds because they do not accommodate wheelchairs. Aging grandparents like me also have trouble navigating some parks.
Bellevue’s Inspiration Playground is a wonderful exception, and Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island will soon be renovated as a model of accessibility and inclusivity, thanks to a citizens coalition that worked closely with elected officials and city staff. Every park should meet that goal. Disability is diversity, after all.
John Hamer, Mercer Island