Delran Community Park is home to a brand new playground, which is fully-inclusive. This play area, a Jake’s Place Playground, also has another location in Cherry Hill. They’re specifically designed for children with special needs, and have accommodations for children who are blind, autistic or who use wheelchairs.
Jake’s Place Playground is an all-inclusive park where kids can play no matter their challenges, and after five years of fundraising for the $600,000 park, Delran opened Jake’s Place this July. The South Jersey-themed park pays tribute to Philly, the Jersey Shore, Ben Franklin and, of course, agriculture (hello, Garden State!). The park has a cushioned, synthetic surface, ramps for wheelchair accessibility, various types of equipment to work on balancing, plus sensory and tactile activities for learning. There’s even a snack shack and plenty of shaded seating area. Delran Community Park is also still in the process of funding for a zipline.
Former councilwoman Lona Pangia, mother to a daughter with special needs, pitched the idea to the township years ago. Jake’s Place Playground was founded after Jacob Cummings-Nasto died at the age of two from complications of open heart surgery. Jacob was born with half a heart and physical therapists recommend he’d visit playgrounds for physical therapy, but often times he was unable to use any of the equipment and games on the playground. Jake’s Place was created in his honor, with the purpose of creating a safe space for all kids, especially kids with special needs.