ALOHA, Ore. -- Growing up in Beaverton, Emily Braman enjoyed the outdoors, but didn't have much reason to study the design of her neighborhood parks. Fast forward a few years and Emily is the mother of two girls, Leah and Eden. Eden has down syndrome and Emily said finding a park that was safe and enjoyable for both of her girls was a challenge.
When Emily was asked to be on the neighborhood steering committee for the new Mountain View Champions Park, she jumped at the opportunity. As it turned out, shortly thereafter she was offered the job of Adaptive and Inclusion Specialist at Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District -- and worlds merged.
After years of careful planning and design, Mountain View Champions Park has opened with acres of playing space for people of all ages and ability levels. The play structure is adjacent to Champions Two field which is the first synthetic field in the state of Oregon that is designed for people of all abilities. It's shorter cut and tighter packed base allows wheelchairs to not only access, but smoothly operate on it.
Emily hopes that Mountain View Champions Park will become a model for how to design a park that considers the needs of all people who enjoy it. But for now, she is just glad that it's in her neighborhood.