BLOOMFIELD NJ – Mayor Michael Venezia cut the ribbon on October 12 to officially open the Felton Field Tot Lot Playground. The ADA compliant play area is a recent recipient of the Ruth Huges Innovative Accessible Recreation Facility Award.. 

Venezia described it as “a great day for Bloomfield.”  The playground was renovated this past summer to accommodate park goes with special needs. Visitors to the area will first notice the rubber tile ground surface to make rolling wheel chairs easy.  The entire part is designed to accommodate park goers with special needs. The design also makes it possible for parents and grandparents with mobility issues to enjoy time with their family.

 The playground features five different platforms with both physical and mental activities for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory visitors.  Mental activities include a tic-tac-toe panel, a steel melody maker, and an animal panel.

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Ramps within the playground are wide enough to allow a visitor to turn completely around on their own. The ramps all have safety rails. 99% of the playground is wheelchair accessible.

The Bloomfield Recreation Department stressed that the playground needed to be accessible to ambulatory and non-ambulatory visitors at the same time. The project allows family and friend groups to enjoy the playground together.  Felton Field is also home to the Challenger Baseball/Softball field. The surfaces of this field are comprised of rubber tiles that allow players in wheelchairs to participate in games. 

Parks and Recreation Director Michael L Sceurman said that Bloomfield Parks “allow kids the proper places to release their energy” after a day in school. Parks like the Tot Lot playground offer a safe place to kids to play. Venezia said that this is one of many parks to benefit in the next few years. Councilman Nicholas Joanow credited the Recreation Department and Department of Public Works with taking care of the facilities. 

This article first appeared in TAPinto Bloomfield October 13, 2016

TAPintoBloomfield.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Bloomfield. TAPinto Bloomfield is the only locally owned news organization in the township. TAPinto Bloomfield is accredited by the New Jesey Press Association. Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BloomfieldTAP.