Lifestyle/Good

Preston's H.O.P.E.

Matt MacDonald
When my wife and I moved to Cleveland Heights, we were suffering from fish-out-of-water syndrome.

One day, the wife and I were itching to find out where the closest Barnes & Noble was. After we discovered that Eton place was our only option, we got on I-271 and headed south.

Then we saw it.

It was on the left as you headed south and it looked like it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

It was Preston's H.O.P.E.

Located behind the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood, Ohio, Preston's H.O.P.E (Helping Others Play and Enjoy) is considered the only boundless playground in Northeast Ohio. A boundless playground is a playground where children can play regardless of physical condition. With more than adequate ramp access, as well as all of the current safety precautions that most typical playgrounds offer (in addition to the standard Playground equipment), Preston's. H.O.P.E is a place where all children can have a good time.

The Inspiration for Preston's H.O.P.E. came from very special friends and family of a little boy born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). They believed that if his dreams were to play in a park with all other kids, then there must be many, many other children with the same dream, as well. They found out there were over 26,000 kids in Cuyahoga County alone with some type of disability; kids that wanted the opportunity to play with their brothers and sisters and their best friends in a place that was boundless. Many of these kids met one day and dreamed together the way Preston's H.O.P.E. should be. A place where you could get up high, feel movement, play on things you've never been able to, or just be quiet if you want. And that is how it all started.

Then the real work began to make these dreams a reality. After seven years and almost $3,000,000 in fundraising, Preston’s H.O.P.E. offers the unique opportunity to enjoy all of our dreams and still create many of your own.

If there was one minor thing I found relatively disappointing about our whole experience it was the lack of adequate restrooms. The only restrooms are located closer to the front gate. If you or any of your children really need to go and there is a line or if you find yourself at the completely opposite end of the park, you are in trouble.

Preston’s H.O.P.E. is open from 8:00am until 9:00pm during the fair weather months and is located behind the Mandel Jewish Community Center at 26001 South Woodland Road in Beachwood, Ohio.