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Special needs pirate-themed park opens in Brentwood

Veterans Park in Brentwood has been given the “pirate” treatment. And no kid will be left on the sidelines when it comes to enjoying it.

The Universal Abilities Park, which celebrated its grand opening on Friday, is the third in a line of parks in Contra Costa County that cater to kids with special needs.

Functioning within the parameters of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the park features elements of a pirate ship with “musical, shifting and lifting elements” that make it accessible to children in wheelchairs, who would otherwise have to sit on the sidelines and watch other children play.

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor told the Contra Costa Times:

“This park, with its precisely chosen and specially designed features, changes the lives of children and families who have always had to watch, but could not really enjoy.”

The park came to fruition due to the collaborative effort of the Special Kids Foundation, the City of Brentwood and the parents of children with disabilities.

Features include a mast, deck, crow’s nest, treasure chest and a wheelchair-accessible Merry-Go-Round. Special Kids Executive Director Lisa McBride said:

“Now our kids can play, able to enjoy setting sail into a playground pirate fantasy alongside their siblings and peers unhindered by any obstacles. As special needs families, we are no longer alone on the high seas, but among loyal shipmates bound for destinations beyond our wildest dreams.”

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