Opened in February 2015, the Rotary PlayGarden in the Guadalupe River Park was a first for San Jose, an all-inclusive playground designed to be accessible for kids in wheelchairs or with other special needs. Julie and Mel Matsushima, both past presidents of the Rotary Club of San Jose, were inspired to pitch the park as the club’s 100th anniversary project because of their desire to have a place where their twin granddaughters, Aimee and Chloe, could play side-by-side. Aimee was born with brain damage and cerebral palsy and has spent the majority of her life in a wheelchair. The $6 million park addition draws more than 100,000 visitors — of all ages and abilities — every year and has inspired the creation of similar playgrounds in the Bay Area.
Photos courtesy of The Mercury News.