Safety parameters, like using untreated cedar lumber instead of standard pressure-treated lumber and providing universal access to certain features, are paramount in public spaces used by children. Be sure to work closely with your contractor to design the appropriate safety measures in your garden.

It is important to provide garden access to all individuals with all abilities. Building features of the garden that “enable” children with disability conditions from preschool to high school to enjoy and maintain is important.

Needs of children with disabilities to consider when building a garden:
  • Physical space
  • Individual strength and endurance
  • Height and range of motion
  • Mobility and balance
  • Use of walking aids or wheelchairs
  • Ability to use hand tools
An “enabling garden” includes:
  • Paved surfaces
  • Drop-off areas and parking
  • Signage
  • Entrances and exits
  • Rest areas and comfort
  • Containers and raised beds
  • Drinking water
  • Plants
  • Emergency plans
For more information about accessible design standards and universal access, see the U. S. Government’s American Disability Act Web site

Also read Gene Rothert’s article: Kids with Disabilities Don’t Like Radishes Either.