Madison's Place

Woodbury, MN USA

MN - Madison's Place

Video features a Landscape Structures all-inclusive playground at Madison’s Place in Woodbury Minnesota.

[video: fade in to an elevated side panning view of the entire play area while children and families run and play all around the playground.]

[video: camera switches to a playground deck. Panning left to right children play all around the inclusive PlayBooster playground.]

[video: a man swings three children on the inclusive Oodle swing. Camera switch to three children playing on the Roller Table. Camera switches to ground level view of the elevated Sensory Play Tunnel. Camera switches to the playground decking looking into the Sensory Play Tunnel. A group of children walk through the tunnel looking at the different stare shape cut outs and the light passing through. Camera pans across the star shape cut outs inside the Sensory Play Tunnel. Camera switches to a bird’s eye view of the entire play area as children play all around. Dana Millington a member of the Madison Claire Foundation speaks to the camera.]

Dana: The impact has been greater than we ever anticipated it’s been wonderful.

Dana voiceover: Not only from the number of people coming to the playground but from the posts we are seeing on social media, and our facebook page that people are sharing.

[video: a elevated view at the end of two ZipKrooz bays as children ride the two different swings down the glider. Children run all around on the Pebble Flex playground surfacing. Switch to a side view of a Sway Fun with a group of children as they work together to make it move back and forth. Top down view of a boy playing with the Rocket Solar Slide panel. Camera back to Dana speaking to the camera.]

Dana: We are hearing of families coming out in between their-

Dana voiceover: occupational and physical therapy appointments to use the playground to work on their sessions.

[video: A man holds the ZipKrooz disc swing with a young girl sitting on it. He lets go so she can glide down towards and past the camera. The young girl smiles at the camera as she passes by. She glides past the camera back up towards the landing platform. She raises on of her hands up in the air above her head like superman. The man grabs ahold of the swing so that the girl can step off onto the platform.]

Dana voiceover: We are getting posts and emails from people, their kids are making friends with kids with disabilities, they haven’t before. And that was our goal from the beginning was to introduce kids with disabilities and without.]

[video: a young boy excitedly smiles at the camera as he bounces and rides the We-Saw. Camera switches to a girl as she rides on the other side of the We-Saw. A girl attempts to mount the seat next to the young girl to also ride the see saw. Camera switches back to the boy riding on the other side of the see-saw. Camera switches to two girls inside the Cozy Dome. One girl leans in extremely close to the camera lens and smiles. She pulls back from the camera as the second girl leans in to smiles into the camera lens. Camera back to Dana as she speaks to the camera.]

Dana voiceover: When you get kids together they don’t look at kids differently and they are just going out and playing. It doesn’t matter if one child is in a wheelchair and one child is not. They are going out and they are all playing together in the same space. And it has just been amazing to see that they forget about everything that’s going on in their lives and they’re just being kids and they’re just playing.

[video: four girls sit on the Sway Fun bench and smile at the camera as they ride. A young girl spins a group of children sitting on the Omni spinner. Camera is placed at the entrance of an inclusive wheelchair playground ramp. Two children play up on the playground decking at the top of the ramp. Camera zooms in on a woman’s hand as she latches the Bucket swing harness. The woman pulls the Bucket swing back with a young boy sitting on it. His arms barely reach the swing ropes to hold on. The woman pushes the boy, so he glides down the ZipKrooz bay past the camera. Camera switches to outside the Cozy Dome. A young girl peaks her head through one of the Cozy Dome holes to peak at the camera. She quickly pulls her head back in after smiling at the camera. Top down view of a girl spinning herself on an overhead Spinner Wheel. Side view of the ZipKrooz bays as a young girl rides the Bucket seat swing down the glider.]

[video: a young boy standing at the ZipKrooz landing platform speaks to the camera.]

Boy: And I like the playground because handicap people can go on it also.

[video: a young girl with a lavender shirt speaks to the camera.]

Girl: I like the swings.

[video: a young girl wearing a blue shirt with a peace sign on the chest speaks to the camera.]

Girl wearing peace sign shirt: I like that it’s accessible for wheelchairs because I think that’s really cool.

[video: elevated view of the entire play area as children and families play all around. Camera is mounted to the ZipKrooz Disc Swing pointed down at the rider. A woman gives a girl a big push, so she glides down the ZipKrooz. A different girl rides the ZipKrooz swing. She looks up to smile at the camera as she rides the swing. Camera is mounted to the ZipKrooz Bucket seat swing pointing back at the rider. A young girl wearing glasses holds on to the swing harness as she glides backwards on the glider. She laughs with excitement. Camera switches back to mounted on the top of the Disc Swing as a young girl glides towards the landing platform of the ZipKrooz bay. A group of children wait on the platform and grab the swing when she reaches the landing. A different young girl rides the Disc Swing and glides towards the platform. Camera switches to the young girl wearing glasses in the Bucket seat swing as she continues to glide backwards.]

[video: camera spins with a boy as he rides the Saddle seat spinner. He looks back at the camera as he spins. Fade out to a young girl as she smiles at the camera. Fade to a young girl’s face as she smiles excitedly while playing on the Sway Fun. Fade to a young girl’s face as she squints and smiles into the camera. She scrunches her nose as she smiles. Fade to black, Landscape Structures logo appears with text below reading: Better playground, better world.]

Playground Details

Age Ranges

  • 5 to 12 years

Play Styles

Product Lines/ Categories

Min Area Required

  • 96' x 75' (29,26 m x 22,86 m)

Design/CAD Files for this Playground

Design files are not available for this custom design. Contact your local playground consultant for additional details.

Design Standards

astm

Price Range (USD)
$200K-$500K+

Pricing for custom playground equipment varies. For international and exact pricing, please contact your local playground consultant.

Contact Your Consultant

Madison’s Place is a fully inclusive playground designed to allow all children to play together regardless of their abilities. Kids are able to explore the entire structure, thanks to a series of ramps, decks and poured-in-place surfacing. From these decks kids can access exciting play equipment like the Sway Fun® Glider to a custom light tunnel that offers a unique sensory-stimulating experience to interactive sensory play panels like our Xylofun Panel®. Interspersed throughout the structure, CoolToppers® shade children from UV rays and high heat. More adventure surrounds the playstructure with freestanding playground equipment like our inclusive OmniSpin® Spinner which offers high-backed support, vestibular sensory stimulation and interactive play. Kids can glide through the air on our exhilarating playground zipline, ZipKrooz®.  The Roller Table™ provides children with a unique sensory-stimulating experience through steel rollers which apply deep-muscle pressure as kids launch themselves across the table.

Honoring a Life Cut Short

After the loss of their daughter, Madison, Dana and Dave Millington established the Madison Claire Foundation. Their goal with the Foundation was to help families of children with special needs. And based on her family’s experience at the playground, Dana decided the first project of the Foundation would be to create an inclusive playground.

Madison’s medical costs were high, so the Millingtons looked for things to do with their family that had little to no cost. Madison loved to be outdoors, so Dana assumed family outings to the playground were a great option. But when they went to the playground, the Millingtons quickly learned it was not. The playground was not accessible for Madison. With two other young children that needed help navigating the playground, Dana was left with two options: leave Madison on the side to help the other two play or leave her siblings to stay with Madison.

“It really was not a choice that we could make because neither one is good,” explained Dana, president of the Madison Claire Foundation. “So we never went back; there were no playgrounds that we could go to.”

"This playground project allowed our family to talk about Madison and not cry."

Dana wished her family had had more opportunities to do “normal” stuff with Madison, which would have given her children more positive memories of their little sister. And that’s why she set out to bring an inclusive playground, named Madison’s Place, to the community. Not only would it honor Madison’s short life, but it would help other families create lasting and happy memories.

A Bucket List Fulfilled

When Dana started discussing the design for Madison’s Place with Flagship Recreation, a distributor of Landscape Structures commercial playground equipment in Minnesota, she had two big items on her bucket list—a fully ramped structure and unitary surfacing.

“I wanted ramping all the way to the top of the playground,” explained Dana. “It was a discussion many times because it was expensive, but I was adamant from day one. I didn’t care if it took longer to fundraise; I was not willing to compromise on it.”

Dana and the Madison Claire Foundation Board of Directors met with the rehabilitation team at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to get their input on the inclusive playground design. The occupational and physical therapists reviewed the design and suggested activities to assist with therapy programs.

“By including specific activities, the OTs and PTs can direct children to the playground,” said Dana. “And as they play, they’ll also be working on their therapy.”

After talking to parents of children with disabilities, Dana and the Board learned about the wide variety of needs in the community. In addition to welcoming children of all abilities, they wanted Madison’s Place to be a place where parents who are physically disabled and aging caregivers are able to play with their kids and grandchildren.

“The idea of inclusive play was broadened to account for as many different situations as possible.” Dana Millington President, Madison Claire Foundation

The final playground design is fully ramped and includes many sensory-stimulating activities including the Sway Fun® glider, Cozy Dome®, We-saw™, Sensory Play Center®, OmniSpin® spinner, Roller Table and Oodle® Swing.

“Because it took us a few years to fundraise, we were able to add on some of the new products that were introduced,” said Dana. “The double ZipKrooz® was a last-minute add. I’m so glad we did because it’s one of the most heavily used pieces of equipment.”

There is also a custom sensory tunnel, which is the highlight of the inclusive play design. The plum tunnel, with its star cutouts and marbles, invites intrigued visitors to step inside. Once inside, it’s a kaleidoscope of light and colors as the movement of the sun casts colorful stars on the opposite wall. It’s truly a sensory play masterpiece.

The unique color palette of the playground was decided on by vote. “Instead of the board choosing the color scheme, we put them up at the [University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s] Hospital and asked patients to vote,” explained Dana. “More than 90 percent of the kids voted for the current colors.”

Education is Key

When Dana began the playground planning process, she tried nearly everything when it came to fundraising efforts.

“When we started fundraising, we wanted to get kids involved to be part of the process,” said Dana. “We threw American Idol finale parties that included dinners and raffles. That gave us our seed money to see how we could get the ball rolling.”

After the initial kid-friendly events, the Madison Claire Foundation put together a Board of Directors to brainstorm more effective ways to raise money. They hosted golf tournaments, garage sales, galas, and wine and beer tastings. Dana did a lot of research to find grant opportunities, but quickly learned that wasn’t going to be good source of funding for Madison’s Place. Next, the Board began connecting with corporate foundations.

“Look at who you know, and who they know. Your connections can help make important introductions.” Dana Millington

“We found that face-to-face meetings with the decision makers of the corporate foundations were important,” explained Dana. “Once we were able to educate these individuals about the need for inclusive playgrounds, our requests for funding were about 95 percent effective.”

Dana also suggests that individuals planning an inclusive playground involve their local disability communities. Education is an important piece to find support for inclusive playgrounds because many people don’t understand the need.

“As cities continue to grow, inclusion will become more important than it ever has been,” said Dana. “Communities with inclusive playgrounds and programs become a factor for families with members that have special needs when choose where they want to live.”

A Destination Realized

Madison’s Place opened in June 2016, and it has quickly become the destination playground that Dana and the Madison Claire Foundation had hoped for.

“It has far exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Dana. “The playground has been busy since day one. This summer, blankets were lined up along the perimeter of the playground—it looked like the beach on a hot summer day.”

And just because school is in session doesn’t mean the activity is dying down. In fact, a nearby high school is using the playground for its special education classes. According to one of the special education teachers, the days that the students go to the park to practice social and recreation skills in this real-world setting, they come back to class in great spirits.

Even more, word of Madison’s Place is traveling to the other side of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro bringing more families to the inclusive playground. Some families even visit in order to use the playground to work on therapy between therapy appointments—a goal of the rehabilitation team at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

For individuals or communities working to build an inclusive playground, Dana offers this advice: don’t give up. Find the playground features that are important to you and fight for them even if it takes longer to fund.

“It’s worth it,” said Dana. “At the grand opening, I watched five kids in wheelchairs playing tag throughout the playground and knew that I was right to hold out for the ramps all the way to the top of the playground.”

Installed: July 2016

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We’ve created a global network of local playground experts to be at your side, every step of the way. With an average of 20 years of experience, our playground consultants are knowledgeable and personable. They will guide you through product pricing and specifications, customization, financing options, community builds, on-time deliveries, maintenance, finding replacement parts, and service questions.

Playground consultant for this project

Flagship Recreation
11123 Upper 33rd St N
Lake Elmo, MN 55042
Phone 763-550-7860
info@flagshipplay.com
www.flagshipplay.com

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