Yamaguchi Honored for "Dream" Playground

By Kellie Onaga
|  Friday, Apr 15, 2011  |  Updated 7:43 AM PDT
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Yamaguchi Honored for "Dream" Playground

Cindy Barrymore

Kristi Yamaguchi will be honored in San Jose Friday night for her work innovating playgrounds.

The Olympic gold medal figure skater will be presented with the Children's Discovery Museum's Legacy Award for creating an innovative kids playground in her hometown of Fremont.

The "Always Dream Play Park" is designed to allow kids with disabilities to play alongside everyone else, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Every year the museum gives the award to a person whose work has significantly benefited the lives of children.

The one-acre park opened in January 2010, after Yamaguchi went to two charity summer camps in Hawaii a few years earlier.  At the camps, disabled children were paired with able-bodied friends for a week.  Yamaguchi's idea was to build a permanent playground that's just like the camp.

The Always Dream Play Park is in Fremont's Central Park at Stevenson Boulevard and Gallaudet.  It features a slide that is wheelchair accessible and swings with extra safety precautions.  It's not advertised as a park for kids with special needs.  It's just adverstised as a park.

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