Sweet Shade Universal Playground

Sweet Shade Neighborhood Park is an approximately 7.9-acre public neighborhood park located at 15 Sweet Shade in Irvine. Opened in 2009, the park consists of a tot lot/play area, a community building, basketball courts, a large open turf area with walking trails, and parking. The existing tot lot/play area includes play equipment for ages 2–5 and ages 5–12, as well as shade structures, benches, picnic tables, and barbecues.

Universal Playground Project 

In July 2019, the City’s Disability Services program relocated its offices from City Hall to Sweet Shade Neighborhood Park. As a renovated facility, the Sweet Shade Ability Center provides a larger, more accessible, and inviting hub for the delivery of Disability Services activities to Irvine residents. To complement this use, the City proposes to develop the City’s first Universal Playground. Universal playgrounds are intended to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Currently, the City is developing the final design phase of the Universal Playground project and anticipates construction will begin in Spring of 2024.

Public Outreach

The City's first public outreach opportunity was held Thursday, September 19, at Sweet Shade Ability Center. This event included a staff-led tour of the existing playground and potential locations for integrating universal play elements or developing an adjacent universal playground. Planning staff were present to answer questions about the project, and participants were able to sign up and receive project updates. Input helped guide planning and design for the project. On January 6, 2021, City staff shared the project at the Irvine Residents with Disability Advisory Board (IRDAB) meeting. At a Public Hearing on April 7, 2021, the Community Services Commission approved new rubberized safety surfacing and inclusive play equipment. On May 3, 2022, the City presented revised plans to IRDAB which included a new restroom building, adult sports court, and additional landscaping. At a Public Hearing on June 1, 2022, the Community Services Commission approved the latest concept plan.

Connect with Us

The City of Irvine welcomes input from the community. If you are interested in providing individual feedback outside of the planned outreach activities, park planning staff would be happy to answer questions or provide additional project details. Please contact City of Irvine Senior Planner Rachel McLure at 949-724-6156 or rmclure@cityofirvine.org.