Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day at Athan Downs Park

This week, I asked one of our Ross team members, Jon Bawden, to share his experience with a truly special playground project that our company was fortunate enough to have been involved with. Here, in Jon’s own words, is the story of Athan Downs Playground. ~ Ewing Philbin

“Why do we get up each morning and do what we do for a living? Pragmatically speaking, we probably have bills and a mortgage and a family to feed, but if you’re lucky you might have a job that satisfies at a much deeper and more idealistic level.  I certainly consider myself one of a lucky few that fairly regularly has the opportunity to see the benefit my job has on kids, family, and community.

 Our team recently designed and installed a very special playground in San Ramon at Athan Downs Park. Athan Downs is designed for kids of all abilities to play together and create memories and friendships often denied to kids with limited mobility, sensory processing disorders, or any of a broad spectrum of disabilities or medical issues.  Our team worked with the community through a series of neighborhood meetings to capture elements important to future users such as ramps for wheelchairs, shade, quiet areas for autistic children, and a sand area for the ultimate in tactile play. 

 On March 21st, Ross Recreation came out with the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. The Down Syndrome Connection works throughout the Bay Area to promote the unique contributions of children and adults with Down Syndrome and to educate the public by fostering inclusive and integrated involvement in local communities. Families from across the Bay Area traveled to San Ramon to be able to share in a truly inclusive community event and to celebrate the opening of this new playground. Landscape Structures was on hand to help celebrate and to photograph the event. If the smiles and laughter of kids of all abilities playing together were the measure of a successful project then I would say Athan Downs is a runaway hit.”  ~ Jon Bawden, Ross Recreation Representative

By Ewing Philbin

Jon brought his daughters Carli & Kendall out to play

Two boys enjoy a ride in the OmniSpin Spinner

To learn more about the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, visit their website www.dsconnection.org.

Click here to watch a recent segment that aired on CBS recognizing the unique nature of this playground.


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