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NRPA’s 2023 Annual Conference


TBG is headed to the NRPA Annual Conference in Dallas! You can find our team at booth 3302 and listen to our speakers Jaime Zwiener, Meade Mitchell, Jodi House, and Ross DeVault. Here’s a rundown of TBG’s sessions this week.

Equity and Inclusion: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Equitable Play for Children of All Abilities by Jodi House, Ross DeVault, Dr. Taylor Bunn with Hope 4 All, and Steve Plumer with The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts, and Recreation on Tuesday, October 10th at 1:00 PM CST in Room C146.

The process of grounding PlayGrand Adventures – a 10-acre, universally inclusive playground – in input garnered from users, medical experts, industry professionals as well as the multi-disciplinary approach to ensure access to play for any age and ability is presented with a focus on the lessons learned from the multi-year process.

The City will lead a discussion regarding the ongoing successes and challenges having delivered phase one of the multiphase project from a programming management, operations, maintenance, and safety perspective.

Dr. Taylor Bunn, a researcher who received her PhD from Baylor University will share key findings, observations, and recommendations for future parks development from her recently completed dissertation entitled “The more we play together : an illustrative case study designed to explore engagement at PlayGrand Adventures all-abilities playground.”

Designing Play Spaces for True Inclusivity by Jaime Zwiener and Meade Mitchell on Wednesday, October 11th at 1:00 PM CST in Room C146.

The session will empathetically explore & advocate for why all play must be inclusive. Both speakers are landscape architects, but also parents to children with disabilities. Through their lenses, we will educate attendees on the 5 Tenents of Play with a deep dive into Inclusion. By way of information, personal experiences and survey results from other parents of children with disabilities, Jaime and Meade will identify ways that participants can partner to advocate for parks and play spaces for those of all abilities. When creating play spaces we must consider those with physical disabilities, behavioral, intellectual & learning disabilities, hearing & vision impairment, cognitive and communication delays, sensory issues and developmental delays – many of which can be invisible. A playground is a place where all children should feel accepted, where parents see their children interacting with others of all abilities and an environment that provides a haven of togetherness, free of invisible barriers.

As landscape architects, it’s critical to play an active role in the discourse on enriching our cities with quality parks and open space accessible to everyone. One of the ways we strive to achieve this goal is by consistently attending, speaking, and showcasing our work at the NRPA Conference. We look forward to this year’s lineup and all the ideas and solutions that will emerge from the sessions.