The original Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park is the single pebble that created a ripple effect that started a revolution in radically inclusive playgrounds.
It all began when the Goldberg family took their daughters to a local park and discovered that traditional playgrounds are simply unfit for people of different abilities. In a three-year-journey piloted by Harper’s dad G Cody QJ Goldberg, our Co-Founder and Chief Play Officer, and fueled by massive community support, our flagship location set the standard for inclusive, nature-infused playgrounds.
“Can Harper get there?” and if so, “Can she do something there?” Guided by these two questions, every inch of the park was designed, funded, and built with love. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, a local child who held his own bake sales to raise money for the park, did the honors.
He symbolized the incredible community—including the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association, and Portland Parks & Recreation, who helped Harper’s Playground to become the first of its kind, but certainly not the last.
Richard Buckminster Fuller famously said, “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty, but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” Harper’s Playground turned out to be a beautiful solution, and that’s how you know it’s right.
Concept design by Todd Girvin of Harper’s Playground