Go, See, Explore: Kayla’s Playground at Franklin Woods Nature Park

Photo from kaylaskrew.org

(Franklin, WI): Nestled within a beautiful setting of 38 acres at Franklin Woods Nature Center, Kayla’s Playground offers a playful and relaxing atmosphere for families of ALL abilities. This playground was built in memory of Kayla Runte, “to provide a common ground to enrich social skills through play, create friendships for a lifetime and promote Peer Advocacy programs through collaboration with community partners.”


3723 W. Puetz Road – Franklin, WI (MAP)

All-inclusive and All-accessible Playground

The playground was inspired by Kayla Runte and her friends. Kayla never walked or spoke a word, but she had friends who encouraged her and in return taught valuable life lessons of compassion, patience and acceptance.

After Kayla’s passing in August of 2012, Kayla’s Krew was formed and began fundraising to fulfill their mission to build an all-inclusive and all-accessible playground as a foundation to teach life lessons naturally through play. With the support of the City of Franklin and the community, the 12,000 square foot playground was built over the course of 9 days with the help of over 1500 volunteers and opened October 9, 2015.


  • Cushioned play surface increases protection from falls. Cushion calibrated to possible fall heights.
  • Pervious play surface provides dry, environmentally-friendly drainage. Prevents insects.
  • Fully accessible ramping to activities with high and low grip railings.
  • Fully accessible merry-go-round for two children in wheelchairs to enjoy along with other children.
  • Two “expression swings” for parent/child interaction while swinging together.
  • Fully accessible “Liberty Swing” for children in wheelchairs imported from Australia.
  • Two different stainless steel slides made in Germany. No electrical interference for those with cochlear


  • Slides are oriented north to keep them cool. Structures designed to provide additional shade.
  • Bucket swings in both areas to accommodate larger children needing seated security.
  • Interactive toys in the 2-5 age area.
  • Climbing wall in 5-12 age area and a small climbing wall in the 2-5 age area with appropriate cushioned play surface.
  • Climbing trees in the 5-12 age area with appropriate cushioned play surface.
  • Rope climb in the 5-12 age area with appropriate cushioned play surface.
  • Rocking boat deck (accessible) in the 5-12 age area.
  • Kid’s city hall, library, police station and fire house in 2-5 age area.
  • Short dual slide in 2-5 age area (fiberglass).
  • Short slide in 5-12 age area (fiberglass).
  • Tire Swing in 5-12 age area.
  • Rope climb and rope bridge with appropriate cushioned play surface in 5-12 age area.
  • Wiggly balance beam in 5-12 age area.
  • Two height monkey bars, rings, and twist rings in 5-12 age area with appropriate cushioned play surface.
  • Designed “hide and seek” area under the slides in the 5-12 age area. No pinch or choke points.
  • Registered “Little Free Library” stocked with books for children. Take one, leave one.
  • Covered seating area for rest, relaxation, reading and socializing while watching the children play.
  • One way in, one way out to provide safety and security for the children.
  • Wetland over-look (fully accessible) in the 5-12 age area.
  • Paver patio for picnics and relaxation and pervious surface to filter run-off to the wetlands.
  • Pavilion with area for gas grill cooking.
  • Fully accessible restrooms for males, females, and families with water fountain and adult changing tables.
  • Pet water fountain.
  • Circle drive to facilitate bus drop-off and pick-up.
  • Large grass area for lawn games.
  • Monitored security cameras.
  • All plastic engineered components for no splinters.
  • Light colored surface for a cool playground during hot summer months.
  • Seating located throughout for parents and care-givers.
  • Landscaping designed for low maintenance, environmental enhancement, and to attract butterflies.
  • Playground designed for future enhancement.



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