Jill Moore: Exploring Parks and Playgrounds Despite Her Wheelchair
Jill Moore may be using a wheelchair, but it doesn’t stop her from exploring parks, playgrounds, and other public spaces. As an inclusive play specialist for Minnesota-based playground designer Landscape Structures, she has developed an expertise in discovering access opportunities and impediments designers might have overlooked.
Connecting the Lived Experience with Design
According to Moore, her aim is to “connect the lived experience with design.” On Friday, she was scheduled to join a group of people with disabilities for an “audit” through downtown Minneapolis, specifically focusing on Nicollet Mall, Peavey Plaza, and the Walker Sculpture Garden. Their goal was to ensure that disability access is more than just having a ramp wide enough to carry Moore’s wheelchair.
Inclusive Playground Design
Moore emphasizes that inclusive playgrounds shouldn’t only have a big ramp structure. With her background in industrial design, she argues there should also be activities for children with motor-coordination disabilities such as ADHD, where they can practice developing essential skills. One example is the Shoreview Commons, a play structure that presents a range of challenges with various climbing structures at different challenge levels.
Landscape Structures has designed, engineered, and manufactured some of the newest and most celebrated playgrounds in the Twin Cities. They’re big on “parallel play,” where children of different levels can enjoy activities side by side. The company designs 2,000 to 3,000 park projects every year across the US, increasingly filling in downtowns and other non-traditional spaces where pedestrians congregate.
Play in Downtowns
In the pandemic era, communities realize the importance of safe outdoor spaces. Landscape Structures helps bring play to downtowns, which in many cases weren’t something that was done before. Many communities are transitioning from automobile-focused to pedestrian-focused, and Landscape Structures introduces play to this transformation of public spaces.
Investing in safe outdoor spaces is crucial not only for the able-bodied but also for people with disabilities. Landscape Structures and people like Jill Moore are essential in ensuring that everyone can enjoy public spaces, regardless of physical ability. Their work makes a difference in people’s lives and is a crucial aspect of building a more inclusive society.