Media Contact: Lucie Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.925.6726; Melanie Esland, LifeLab Kids; Melanie.Esland@LifeLabKids.Org; 248-635-5102

Ferndale, Mich. — January 13, 2023 — LifeLab Kids, a Ferndale-based nonprofit center offering therapy, recreation, skill development, and creative outlets for children with disabilities 18 months to young adult, is pleased to be the recipient of the 2022 Project of the Year award from the City of Ferndale for its Sensory Garden and Play Park—slated to open in late spring 2023 for the greater Ferndale and Metro-Detroit community at large. Each year, Ferndale’s Mayor’s Business Council recognizes various businesses and professionals for their impactful and successful work in the community. The award was presented on December 14 to LifeLab Kids Chief Development Officer Melanie Esland on behalf of CEO and founder Jai Reddy.

LifeLab Kids Sensory Garden and Play Park is an inclusive, recreation-based, outdoor learning environment for children with special needs, including ADD/ADHD, anxiety, autism, developmental delays, Down syndrome, feeding challenges, mood disorders, and other physical or sensory differences, as well as those who are wheelchair dependent. The space will provide access to individuals who may not always be able to participate in traditional playgrounds, sports teams, recess, or gym classes and will present fun and engaging recreational activities where children can learn, play and grow together.

“At LifeLab Kids, we believe stimulating multi-sensory environments promote physical, cognitive, and social development in individuals,” Reddy said. “The new Sensory Garden and Play Park is being developed in response to an unmet need for a gathering space and play area that will benefit not only LifeLab Kids but the community.”

Within the Play Park, children will be able to enjoy adaptive sports and recreation programming for health, wellness, and social benefits. The multi-use sports court will include a fully enclosed mixed-use court for inclusive sports such as wheelchair basketball or volleyball, tennis/racquetball, cycling, and spinning. Additionally, the Play Park will feature developmentally appropriate playground equipment and a landscaped garden to allow the children to enjoy various sensory inputs while outdoors to positively prepare them for the world beyond the playground.

The Sensory Garden and Play Park, which will transform the existing 0.9-acre site, was designed by Birmingham-based architecture firm DesignTeam Plus and is being constructed by Cunningham-Limp. Both companies have been strong partners and advocates for LifeLab Kids. For example, through Cunningham-Limp’s efforts and community connections, in addition to other generous donors, the original projected cost of the Play Park has been reduced from $1.6 million to $1.1 million, a meaningful difference for the nonprofit. A video rendering of it may be viewed here.

About LifeLab Kids
Founded in Ferndale, Michigan in 2019, with a second location in Clinton Township, LifeLab Kids is an immersive therapeutic, recreation, and learning center that provides unique, comprehensive and individualized programming to help differently-abled youth and their families be healthy and active – and to belong.  Empowering these individuals to see past their limitations and lead full lives, the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization brings a multidisciplinary team together under one roof to collectively work with students to discover their strengths and engage in their passions. Learn more at

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