Wedgwood Park is our home park. It is the park that surrounds one of our local elementary schools and is the closest one for us to walk to. We often go there when we just need to visit a park but don’t feel like trekking out far to get to one. Though it is a smaller neighborhood park it still offers plenty to. The kids particularly love going there because it has a merry go round.
It was getting late on Christmas day and we had been inside all day playing with our new toys and eating food when we decided that it was time we got out of the house. So, we headed to Handley Park around 5pm just long enough to be there for a few hours and play in the last rays of the day. We have driven by the park a few times, as our nature-based preschool is located just around the corner and decided it was about time we have it a visit. As usual, the kids ran screaming to the playground and the 7-year-old jumped out and got his new remote controlled car situated and ready to take off around the park.
This park was the very first of this kind that we have been to. The neat thing that I have learned as I read up on this park was that it is the first inclusive park in the nation. How cool is it that it started right here in our own backyard? This playground was named as a National Demonstration Site for meeting best practices for inclusive playgrounds by Playcore. When we first got there the kids, as well as us adults, were amazed by the size and features of this park.
So many times we will pull up to a park and at first glance I think I have the place figured out and that it will be a quick in and out for us. But as it usually goes, I get surprised by my family and myself when we chose to purposefully explore, observe, and notice the small and boring looking aspects of a park. These usually turn into the most memorable moments at the parks. When we first arrived, the kids automatically headed to the jungle gym yipping and hollering, “wow” with my husband following behind to watch after them. As they headed to the jungle gym, I headed towards the lake and to explore the other features of the park.
The thing I love about Candleridge Park is that it is a linear park (longer than it is wide) and is not clumped together, but instead spreads out and winds itself into the neighborhood it belongs to, Wedgwood South. This 88-acre park has over six miles of tree lined paved trails that are mostly shaded. The trails are more or less in the shape of the letter “T” with a trail that is oriented east to west and one that splits off in the middle of that trail and heads south. The aspect I find charming is that adjacent to these trails you will find a creek that is riddled with ducks, geese, and mini waterfalls.