“We dream that one day soon we will no longer need to specify ‘inclusive’ or ‘accessible’ when creating something as vital as a playground.”
Olenka Villarreal, Founder, Magical Bridge Foundation
Magical Bridge Foundation innovates multigenerational playgrounds, parks, and programs for more inclusive communities.
Founded in Palo Alto, California, Magical Bridge Foundation designs and builds innovative and inclusive playgrounds that improve the physical, social, emotional, and mental health of everyone in a community, regardless of age or ability. Universally designed to be socially inclusive and physically accessible, Magical Bridge Playgrounds are outdoor play spaces for all, including the 1-in-4 around the world living with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, visual and hearing impairments, and those who are aging or medically fragile. Since opening the first revolutionary playground in 2015, there are now 6 playgrounds open to the public in the San Francisco Bay Area with 11 more in development around the world.
Our story starts with a mom, two daughters, and a playground need.
It was only after the birth of her second daughter, Ava, that Olenka discovered how isolating a playground could be. A place that brought joy and community connections with her older daughter, Emma, had become a dreaded outing when she realized there were no parks designed for families like her own — a family with two children with very different needs.
Determined to create the kind of outdoor space that both her disabled and non-disabled daughters (and all their friends!) would love, she mobilized a team of volunteers to create such a place, where visitors of every age and ability could play together.
In 2015, after seven years of design research, advocacy effort, and fundraising, Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto California opened to the public. Once visitors discovered it, communities from around the world began reaching out for help in bringing this new kind of playground to their communities.
With generous support from the Enlight Foundation and Steckler Family Fund, Magical Bridge Foundation was launched as a non-profit organization in 2016. The mission was to build more playgrounds and advocate for parks and programs to include the whole family from the youngest to oldest, no matter what the ability or disability.
With 7 custom playgrounds now open to the public, and many more in development, Magical Bridge Foundation is passionate about bringing the joy of play, kindness, and community connections.
Magical Bridge Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN: 81-2377796