Arbor Lodge Park makes room for wheelchairs and walkers
A new universally-accessible playground with wheelchair and walker-friendly areas at Arbor Lodge Park in north Portland held a grand opening Saturday. It is named Harper’s Playground after Harper Goldberg, whose family led the fundraising for the playground.
“Just three years ago, dedicated parents Cody and April Goldberg envisioned a playground where their child, Harper, could play alongside other neighborhood kids,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “They’ve shared their compelling vision, generated incredible community support, and have allowed for an innovative playground that will serve as a model for park improvements across the country.”
PP&R was able to facilitate construction on the project thanks to the funds that the Goldberg family and valued partners were able to raise.
The Goldbergs say they have been delighted by the support they have received.
“We are honored to have received so much love and support throughout these past three years,” says Cody Goldberg, Harper’s father.
The Goldberg family lives near Arbor Lodge Park, and had noticed that their daughter had difficulty using the existing play structure there.
They began raising funds through events such as bake and rummage sales, and neighborhood kids’ concerts. But the efforts soon ballooned to include notable partners and businesses committed to making this public-private partnership a reality.
Doctors predicted that Harper, who has a developmental disability, would never walk nor talk. However, Harper defied medical expectation by taking her first independent steps at the age of five. Though she still uses a walker much of the time, Harper loves to enjoy playgrounds, and now has the city’s newest one named in her honor.