How One City is Offering Children of All Abilities the Chance to Play

The NLC Service Line Warranty Program is proud to work with and showcase cities who show dedication to inclusive values. The City of Orem has partnered with the NLC Service Line Warranty Program to offer homeowners optional warranties for their water and sewer service lines since 2016.

The All-Together playground in Orem, UT is Utah County’s first all abilities playground, and is a great source of civic pride for residents of the city. According to the playground’s website, children with disabilities often cannot play on a standard playground and therefore cannot take advantage of the amazing benefits that play provides. An all-abilities playground is a space that provides inclusive play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. These types of playgrounds are designed to promote the healthy development of all children’s physical, social, cognitive, and sensory abilities.

The 19,000 square foot All Together Playground was built in 6.5 days by over 4,100 volunteers and playground construction professionals from Leathers & Associates (check out this amazing time lapse video of the construction).  It was completed on September 11, 2016.  The project was partially funded by the Orem Care Tax, a .01 percent sales tax for local arts and recreation.  Additional funds were acquired through private donations as well as a generous donation from Utah County.

A Daily Herald article explains, “Utah County is a mecca for young families, and the needs of such families manifest themselves in many different ways. Many local children suffer from physical disabilities, while many others fall on the autism spectrum. Traditional playgrounds oftentimes are not equipped to provide the same play experience for children who must use wheelchairs or walkers, or who deal with certain sensory issues.”

With a population of over nearly 100,000, Orem is the fifth-largest city in Utah.  Orem is known as “Family City USA”.  In addition to the All Together Playground, Orem offers a wide range of recreational activities for all ages. In 2010, Orem was included in a Forbes Magazine article on “Best places to raise a family” for its excellent schools and low crime rate.  The city was also ranked number 62 out of 100 top Green U.S. Cities.

In addition to helping to conserve water by addressing line breaks, the Service Line Warranty program provides protection against unforeseen and potentially costly repairs, at an affordable rate to city residents. With the option to collect revenues through participation, cities open a new stream of funding for investments in the public realm.

For more information on the NLC Service Line Warranty Program, please contact Charlie McQuillan Program Manager, Strategic Partnerships at (202) 626-3160 |​

About the author: Eric West is the senior director of strategic partnerships at the National League of Cities’ enterprise partner, Utility Service Partners. The National League of Cities offers its member cities access to residential emergency repair plans through our partnership with Utility Service Partners Inc., a HomeServe USA company.