Autism-Friendly Park Coming to Tucson

Nevaeh Castro, Beat Investigator

Tucson is getting a new park with a special and heart-warming purpose that most people wouldn’t even think of. The park, which is going to be located near downtown Tucson, will be strategically designed to adjust to the needs of those who have autism.

Intermountain Centers for Human Development, as well as the city of Tucson, have come together with Tucson City Council, recently approving a development and maintenance agreement contract.

This specialized park, more specifically located on North Bonita Avenue, will be developed in several phases as funds become more available to maintenance and designers.

This plan will include five outlined zones, featuring motion-censored playscapes as well as motion-censored playground equipment. The park will include a separate sensory play area for younger children who have autism. This space will include equipment that encourages socialization and sensory discovery. It’s a two-acre lot that has been developed for more than a year. The park will also be different than an average park because it will have a fence with different sensory areas.

For someone who suffers from autism, being in an autism-friendly environment means they will be able to express themselves more openly, which will make them calmer and better able to process the sensory stimulation they receive, and therefore will be better able to relate to others.