Lafayette’s Newest All Inclusive Playground Will Be Located Downtown!

Lafayette is anticipating a new all inclusive playground!

This new playground will be located in Downtown Lafayette’s Parc Sans Souci in the area between the stage and the splash pad. Can you imagine having this playground as a tool to bring kids during the hot summer months to cool off in the splash pad and run wild at the playground? Or during Festival International, Bach Lunch or Downtown Alive? While Parc Sans Souci already serves as a hub for several activities downtown, the addition of an inclusive playground will make it the perfect kid-friendly spot all year long!

I contacted Anna-Laura with Downtown Lafayette to get some information about this new playground. Anna-Laura wrote, “For nearly four decades, our park networks have hosted notable events such as Downtown Alive!, Sno-Ball Festival, Holiday Art Market, and Festival International. Downtown Lafayette Unlimited and the Downtown Development Authority are committed to the future of our community and to making the downtown parks active, clean, and safe. As part of that commitment, the DDA and DLU are planning and fundraising for a playground in Parc Sans Souci in the area between the stage and the splash pad. We are working through spatial planning, safety measures, material considerations, maintenance planning, and flexibility for future playground expansion.”

So what exactly does all inclusive mean?

The surfacing of an all inclusive playground is important to consider as it must be able to accommodate wheelchairs and those using walkers with the ability of directly accessing the play structures.  One of the proposed play structures is a merry-go-round carousel with direct access for a wheel chair yet still includes bench seating for typically abled individuals to simultaneously enjoy. Another proposed structure is a bird nest swing capable of holding several individuals, including adults! This will allow parents (or even grandparents!) to enjoy swinging with their children.

The Chappuis Family, a local family who lives within walking distance to Downtown Lafayette, stated it is important for typically abled children to play with and interact with children who have various disabilities. A community playground might be one of the only places they are able to interact with people of various abilities. The construction of this roughly 6,000-square foot outdoor play area will ensure that kids of all levels and abilities will be able to play in the parc and have access to equipment that allows them to strengthen their imaginations.

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Lafayette

Fundraising to get this playground fully-funded is underway! Both individual donors and businesses can donate toward the construction of this playground by visiting Downtown Lafayette Unlimited SOLA Giving Day Page here. Anna-Laura mentioned “We’re just $34,000 away from fully-funding the construction of this awesome project that will make Downtown Lafayette a more vibrant place! we are asking for our community’s support to get there…which is why we are participating in Community Foundation of Acadiana’s SOLA Giving Day.” In addition to contributions made through May 4th with SOLA Giving Day, Pinhook Foundation will match, up to $35,000!

Downtown Lafayette Unlimited would also like to thank the Frayard Family, the William C. Schumacher Family Foundation, the Stuller Family Foundation, the Myers Family Foundation/LHC Group, and a host of other contributors for their investment and support toward placemaking in Downtown Lafayette through the Parc Sans Souci Playground Initiative.

I can’t wait to see renderings of the playground once they are released to the public!

Emily is a dual citizen, residing in Lafayette, Louisiana, yet a temporary visitor in her other residency of Germany. She is a wife of four years and full time working mother to two kids: a 2.5 year old girl (C) and 5 month old boy (H). Having graduated from LSU with her bachelors, she continued her education by getting her Masters in Business Administration from UL. Working in management in retail, her schedule frequently varies and consists of unusual hours, but she embraces that as extra time with her children. While off the clock, Emily pours herself a cup of decaf coffee, plays in a room filled with toddler toys, teaches her children German, and attempts to be a scrunchy Montessori inspired mama with goals of raising independent children.