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There isn’t much about 2020 that has been “normal.” However, The Motz Group, FC Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati TOPSoccer, and the City of Mason set out at the beginning of the year to assist with bringing a high performance sports field to an accessible park in Mason, and honoring that commitment was crucial. The vision of Makino Park is to create an inclusive place where kids could enjoy a playground and sports field experience that is similar to any other park, while being ADA-compliant. That vision culminated in the creation of Common Ground Playground at Makino Park. While the pandemic and weather created some challenges, the complex was completed by early summer.
The complex consists of a Motz InPlay five-a-side system, as well as a butterfly-shaped playground, and a connecting sidewalk to the concession stands and other facilities. Before the project kicked off, The Motz Group and FC Cincinnati Foundation met with TOPSoccer athletes who provided insight to challenges they’ve experienced at other ADA-accessible locations. The group was striving to build a facility that is conducive to the needs of participants in wheelchairs and not just a one-size-fits-all complex. Based on their feedback, and lab testing that was completed to validate the system, it was determined that a slit-film synthetic turf product on the InPlay system, paired with a shock pad and SafeShell infill, would create an ADA-compliant system that would be high performing and have low rolling resistance.
Each year, The Motz Group takes a day away from the office and building fields to join forces for a community-based project in the Cincinnati-area. While Common Ground Park was intended to be the Service Day project for the full team of employee owners and partners in 2020, our field installation crews still found a way to get it done, despite Covid-19 changing the plans drastically. With the generosity from our turf partner, Shaw Sports Turf, and our shock pad partner, Schmitz Foam Products, the donated products allowed the vision of FCC Foundation and the City of Mason for Common Ground to come to life without any major delays.
Makino Park is a multi-sport complex that has Common Ground (a butterfly playground), a soccer field and 3 baseball fields. All ADA compliant facilities. Mason Parks and Recreation says that “Common Ground is an all-inclusive playground designed to encourage children and adults of all levels and abilities to interact with each other. Common Ground is about much more than simply providing accessibility for children with physical disabilities. The playground’s educational and interactive environment is unlike any other in the region, going beyond the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act to promote complete social inclusion and cooperative play.”
We can’t wait to see the field and playground in action with excited athletes and kids sharing common ground!