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Accessible Features at Boston Parks

This map highlights accessible features at parks throughout the City of Boston.

This map shows the accessibility features at Boston Parks and Recreation Department properties.

This inventory is a work in progress - there are City of Boston parks that offer accessibility features which have not yet been added to this developing list. The City of Boston Disability Commission and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will be adding to and updating this interface as work continues in surveying all Boston parks. Each new park, and major renovations of existing parks, are designed and built to go above and beyond ADA standards to provide a more inclusive environment for all users.

If you would like to recommend that your favorite park be inventoried and added to this list, please contact disability@boston.gov and your park will be prioritized for addition to this interface.

Accessible Features Map

Please note: To navigate the application, toggle the filters on the left hand side on and off, and click on the red dots on the map to learn more information about a park.

Accessible Feature Definitions

Accessible Feature Definitions
  • Benches with Wheelchair Spaces: These are benches that are on a level, paved surface, with a space for a wheelchair to park next to and access. The benches themselves may not have accessibility features (such as having a back to the bench). (See picture)
  • Tables with Wheelchair Spaces: These are tables that have spaces left at them for wheelchair users to park in. These are typically picnic tables that are on a paved surface with a seat that is left empty for wheelchair users to use, with space to roll under the table. There are some manufacturers where an end of the table is left open with no obstructions. (See picture)
  • Stair-Free Water Play: These are water spraying installations or water tables that are installed to be useable by park users of all abilities and are reachable and usable by wheelchair users, i.e. they need to have enough clearance for a wheelchair to roll under a water table, and need to be low enough for a child in a wheelchair to access by hand to play in. The button to activate the spray jets or water table also needs to be on a level surface that can be accessed in a wheelchair. The water play area has flush paved access to and through it. 
  • Wheelchair Access Drinking Fountain: These are drinking fountains that have a spout on an extended arm that can be rolled under and accessed by a wheelchair user. They must be installed on a level paved surface with stair free access in order to be considered inclusive. (See picture)
  • Shaded Seating:  This refers to seating, like park benches or tables and chairs, that are located underneath something that provides shade. The map will say what provides the shade, as either Shade Shelter and Tree Shade.
  • Shade Shelter: These are manufactured permanent structures, like pavilions or permanent umbrellas, that are installed to provide shade.
  • Tree Shade: This is shade provided by dense tree cover. 
  • Benches Along Pathways: This refers to benches that have been installed along park walkways. They may not be wheelchair accessible benches with companion seating. Parks are marked as having “benches along pathways” if walking paths longer than 200 feet have at least one bench on that walking path where people can rest.
  • Miscellaneous Inclusive Features:  Boston’s parks have a large number of different playground pieces, recreation areas, gathering spaces, and more. The playground pieces and other play elements are described below. In addition, some parks have unique features and at those parks the City has incorporated unique accessible features. For example, Jamaica Pond allows for fishing and so the City has installed a wheelchair accessible platform from which wheelchair users can also fish.
  • Wheelchair access to all levels of play: This refers to when the playground has a level entrance, is installed on a level rubber surface (not mulch), and when there is a ramp that can be utilized by wheelchair users to access upper levels of the play structure. (See picture)
  • Wheelchair access to slide: This refers to when a slide has a level paved pathway to the top of the slide and has a transfer station for a child to lift themselves or to be lifted onto in order to access the slide. (See picture)
  • Transfer station: This is a spot on play structures where a child can lift themselves out of a wheelchair and into a seated position on the play structure to allow for access into the structure. These elements are located at the entrance features of play equipment.
  • Play panels: This refers to play items on panels that are located somewhere where wheelchair users can access them. These can be gears, puzzles, telescopes, steering and a variety of other play items.
  • Molded bucket seat: This refers to swing sets that have seats which are full seats, with a back, and over-the-shoulder securing straps. (See picture)
  • Wheelchair usable merry-go-round: This is a merry-go-round that wheelchair users can roll into. They sometimes have an arm that rises to let the wheelchair user in, and locks down behind the wheelchair user once the child is inside. (See picture)
  • Musical play: This refers to any play element that produces sound and that is accessible by wheelchair users. Examples are stand alone musical instruments such as drums, or items that are located on play panels such as chimes, rattles, bells, rain panels, xylophone, etc. (See picture)
  • Roller table: This refers to a play structure that has rolling cylinders that provide sensory stimulation. Autistic children and others find soothing. (See picture)
  • Roller slide: This refers to a slide structure that has the same rolling cylinders but is installed on an incline and intended to be used as a slide. (See picture)
  • Dish swing: This is a swing that looks like a bowl with netting or plastic in the middle.  This type of swing can be a calming nest for autistic children or can be an inclusive multi-child element. (See picture)
  • The map will call out which areas of the park can be reached without encountering stairs. The access points may still be narrow or be on a slight incline. 
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