Hope D. Wall School in Aurora, “Home of the Rockets” has a new playground and it’s amazing! This inclusive playground has so many opportunities for kids of all abilities to play and we thought it was so creative that their mascot was incorporated in this fun playground. Please note that it is open to the public outside of school hours and on weekends.
Get an overview of the playground in the video below and keep reading for all the features, where to park, playground hours, and the story behind building this unique play space.
Key Features of the Hope D. Wall Playground
This completely fenced-in playground has a combination of synthetic playground turf and poured-in-place rubber.
The photo above shows the Inclusive Orbit in the foreground, which is a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round flush with the surfacing for easy access. There is a bench seat and space for two wheelchairs.
The Communication Board, a large symbol-based board in both English and Spanish, promotes independence and inclusion for children who use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).
Double-Wide Ramp Access to the playground structure encourages parallel play and access for children with mobility devices.
The Rocketship with Two Slides is super fun. Kids can climb inside the rocket and get a birds-eye view of the entire playground.
There is a huge bank of swings, including 4 Belt Swings, 4 ADA Swing Seats and 1 Konnection Swing. It’s hard to find Wheelchair Accessible Swings at playgrounds and this one has two!
This playground also has two disc swings, called Volito® Swings, that are perfect for children of all abilities to interact and develop improved balance and posture. A child in a wheelchair can be transferred on to the platform to enjoy the sensation of swinging.
Your kids can also enjoy the Musical Corner featuring two types of chimes and three drums.
The Shaded Seating Area pictured below is a nice place to relax and take a snack break.
The Hope D. Wall rocket-themed playground has a recommended age range of 5-12 years old, but there are features for all ages.
In addition to Hope D. Wall students, the playground is accessible for other local children, regardless of ability level. You are welcome to visit the new playground outside of school hours and are encouraged to wear masks and abide by social distancing. Please be aware that the playground will not be cleaned between uses.
Where to Park
There are two sections in the Hope D. Wall School parking lot. The main visitor parking can be found straight ahead after entering the school grounds. To the left you will see a parking area closest to the playground with a sign that says parking is prohibited. Those spaces are used by staff during school hours, but Principal Dr. Terry Collette shared with me that visitors using the playground may park in that lot after school and on weekends.
Behind the Scenes: How Hope D. Wall Playground Became a Reality
Dream Build Play Experience, led by Peg Chaidez, worked with the staff and students of Hope D. Wall School to create this truly unique playground. Previous Dream Build Play Experience playgrounds include Lester Community Park in Lisle and Owen’s Playground in Downers Grove. These playgrounds bring so much joy to the community and we are honored to be able to announce these playground openings with Peg.
This is the first inclusive playground project to benefit from their new partnership with The Morton Arboretum and Chicago Region Trees Initiative to plant at least 10 trees at every inclusive playground. They were able to secure funding for 26 trees for this project and the community helped plant the trees on October 13, 2020 before the playground opening.
Many individuals and organizations donated to the project, including the City of Aurora, the East Aurora Schools, the Fox Valley Park District. Thank you to all of you who donated to make this beautiful playground a reality!
Hope D. Wall School Playground
449 W New Indian Trail Court
Aurora, IL 60506