Joy Playground, located near Colony Park Community Center in Atascadero, opens April 5 at 4 p.m.

The project began in 2013 when special needs moms Sarah Sullivan and Jenelle Allen took the idea to Atascadero City Council and were met by enthusiastic support.
“Parents in wheelchairs can finally get on [a] playground with their kids,” Parents for Joy board member Geoff Auslen said, adding that even those in wheelchairs can get on the swings. “That’s what inclusive means — it’s for everyone.”

Joy Park opening

Despite setbacks, the group will keep its promise to open the playground within a year of breaking ground, which happened May 2018.

The playground will be fenced in so those prone to elopement are safe, and will feature ramps to allow wheelchairs to access the equipment.

“One thing about this project, unlike any other project, [is that] we have to be 100 percent right because it’s 100 percent ADA,” Auslen said. “There’s no room for error. Everything has to be absolutely precise.”

Joy Park opening

Parents For Joy will host an Atascadero-wide yard sale on Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They are still raising money to cover a bridge loan they received in order to open the park. Go to gofundme.com/parentsforjoyatascadero for more information.

To learn more about the playground or to donate, visit ParentsforJoy.org.