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Pasadena In Focus
March - April 2011

Reese’s Retreat Opens to Pint-sized Pirates

To the cheers of local children, city leaders will lay out the welcome mat at Reese’s Retreat during a community grand opening celebration Saturday, April 30, at 9 a.m.

Located in the southeast corner of Brookside Park just east of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, Reese’s Retreat is Pasadena’s first universally accessible playground designed with special equipment to delight children of all ages and abilities. 

The fanciful spot is named for Reese Elliott, the late son of Marchelle Sellers and James Elliott. Born with special needs, Reese loved nothing more than to play pirates and superheroes with other children, inspiring his mother to become a vocal supporter of inclusive playgrounds. Like Reese, about 2,600 kids in Pasadena have disabilities.
Beckoning with its giant pirate ship, Reese’s Retreat comes complete with ramps, a cannonball climber, an eight-bay swing set and sensory play structures that invite children to play with water and sand.

The nearly half-acre oasis was designed in partnership with the Pasadena Public Works Department, Shane’s Inspiration, Recreation West Outdoor Products and David Evans and Associates. The $1.2 million cost was covered by a $1 million state grant, a $25,000 award from the National Organization on Disability, Brookside Gold Course greens fees and residential impact fees. 

You don’t have to wait for the grand opening; the newly completed play area is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information call 744-4452.