Jake’s Place to Open New Playground in Vineland
Another Jake’s Place playground for special needs people is coming to New Jersey. The new one is planned for Vineland.
Jake’s Place playgrounds are named in honor of Jacob Myles Cummings-Nasto who died at 2-years-old from a rare heart condition, a condition that prevented him from using typical playgrounds.
The first one opened in Cherry Hill in 2011 and there is also one in Delran. New Jersey even passed Jake’s Law which offers incentives to counties and municipalities to build more inclusive playgrounds.
On the group’s website, their mission is described as:
To provide all-inclusive play opportunities for children and adults with special needs through advocacy, awareness building, programming, building playgrounds, and sharing our expertise with likeminded individuals and organizations. We are dedicated to bringing all-inclusive play to New Jersey.
Vineland's city Solicitor Richard Tonetta is quoted by the Daily Journal as saying, “The concept is it’s an 'all-inclusive’ park, where not only people with disabilities but children that don’t have any disabilities could all join together.” Adding, “For example, it might have a swing set that would hook up to a wheelchair."
The Vineland park is planned for the Joseph Romano Sports Complex in northeastern Vineland and will include a sensory garden for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci told the Daily Journal, "Ultimately, we want this to be a place where children can play together with their peers, family, friends, and neighbors without experiencing physical or social barriers to inclusion.”
No timetable has been set for the park’s opening.